Chris Evans: Radio DJ reveals skin cancer diagnosis

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Chris EvansImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Chris Evans said he will have the cancer on his leg removed next month

DJ Chris Evans has revealed he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

The 57-year-old announced the news on his Virgin Radio show on Monday, urging others to get themselves checked.

He told listeners he was tested for the disease after his "angel" of a masseur found "a mark" on his shin and that it had been "caught as early as possible".

It comes eight years after the former BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 broadcaster was given the all-clear following a prostate cancer scare.

"I've just got to talk briefly about my biopsy for the skin cancer issue," he said. "So the best news that I got whilst I was away is that it was a positive test, so I have tested positive for skin cancer.

"Obviously better news would have been [that it was] negative. But the reason it's great news is because they've caught it as early as they can, as early as is possible."

He added that he had a type of skin cancer called melanoma.

"It's as treatable as cancer can be to the extent that they call it 'stage zero'," Evans continued. He said the mark on his leg would be removed on 14 September.

"I can't run for a month afterwards so I'm going to do nothing but run until then," he joked. "Is that ok?'

He went on to say he had thanked his masseur Dee for "potentially saving my life", as well as urging listeners to "get yourself checked".

"Just check yourself for stuff, as you get older especially, on your skin, on your bits and your bobs," said the DJ.

"Just keep checking because the biggest weapon in your arsenal, in our collective arsenal... is early detection. And so please do that."

Most skin cancers are caused by sun damage. People with paler or fair skin are at higher risk of damage because they have less of the protective pigment melanin in their skin.

People with any skin tone can get skin cancer though. Using sunscreen can reduce your risk.

What is melanoma?

  • Not the most common or only type of skin cancer, but one of the most serious. Left untreated, it can spread to other organs in the body
  • About 16,700 people a year are diagnosed with it
  • Caused by abnormal skin cells that grow out of control due to DNA damage. Intense exposure to UV can trigger this damage
  • Dr Bav Shergill, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "While melanoma is much more common in older people, it does occur in young people. In fact, skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for teenagers and young adults to be diagnosed with."
  • You should contact your doctor immediately. If moles are itchy or bleed or have irregular shapes, these are warning signs
  • Most melanomas appear in places you can see, however some can occur in your nose, mouth, anus, and vagina (mucosal melanoma), while others can appear in your eye (uveal melanoma)

Evans, one of the biggest presenters in the country since the 1990s, bid an emotional farewell to his long-running, popular Radio 2 programme back in 2018.

The following year he went on to help Virgin Radio break the one million listener barrier with his new show.

Waiting times

Another skin cancer patient recently told the BBC that waiting nine months for treatment had been "very scary and stressful"..

The NHS cited backlogs due to the pandemic and an "unprecedented increase" in serious cancers.

The number of cancer waiting time targets are expected to be reduced in England, in a move the health service says aims to catch cancers earlier.

NHS bosses want to cut the number of targets, most of which have been routinely missed in recent years, from nine to three.