DON'T die of embarrassment when it comes to skin cancer.
It's advice that I ignored and was very fortunate to get away with after what I thought was psoriasis or even ring worm turned out to be skin cancer.
Luckily for me that circular red patch on my right arm was a Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) rather than melanoma.
Had it been the latter, my delay in getting prompt assessment might have made all the difference.
Being a 46-year-old father of three, my days of sunbathing and worrying about the body beautiful were a distant memory.
Not for one second did I think it could be anything serious like skin cancer.
After all, it wasn't a dark or black-hued mole that was bleeding or itchy to the touch.
I adopted the mindset that if I ignored it, the problem would sort itself out. How wrong I was.
I owe the discovery to my wife, Mary.
She became concerned about the mark when a friend of ours was diagnosed with melanoma.
My wife insisted that I go to our GP to get it checked out.
To keep peace at home, I agreed to go and had the red mark cut-off and sent for lab analysis.
When it tested positive for BCC I was stunned.
My plastic surgeon, Dr Eoin O'Broin, eventually ended up removing six patches from my arm and back.
Today, the problem has been resolved and all I have to tell the tale are a few small scars and one larger scar that I am particularly proud of.
So if you've a red patch, an itchy mole or a bleeding skin lesion, take it from me – don't die of embarrassment and get to your doctor right away.