A FATHER-of-two who went to the opticians’ for a routine test discovered he had a rare form of eye cancer.
Stephen Dallas, 41, visited an opticians in Mold in last June for what he expected to just be “a bit of an MOT” – but he was given a diagnosis of ocular melanoma in his right eye.
Ocular melanoma is the most common type and aggressive form of cancer affecting the eye.
It is quite rare and can spread to other organs, typically the liver.
Mr Dallas, of Mill Lane, Buckley, said: “I just went along for a routine eye check up but the opticians found a shadow in my right eye which turned out to be a tumour.
“I just went along thinking I needed a bit of an MOT. I was very lucky because I didn’t realise there was anything wrong.”
About 450 new cases of eye cancer, including ocular melanoma, are diagnosed in the UK each year, with most cases affecting people in their 50s.
The type of tumour is rare and the exact cause is still unknown.
Mr Dallas, who works as a robot programmer at Witter Towbars on Deeside Industrial Park, added: “I’m going to get checked over in the next six months and moving forward I am hopeful.
“It has been quite a stressful year since the diagnosis. It was a worry at first especially being placed in a high risk bracket.
“There is a sort of uncertainty but I am positive about the future. The support of my wife Jo and my children, Sam, seven, and Harper, four, has been a real help.”
Such is the rarity of the condition, it is currently only treatable in five centres across the UK, with early detection of the disease crucial.
To raise awareness of the condition, Mr Dallas is undertaking the Three Peaks Challenge with his friend Pete Morris on June 6.
The duo will take on the three highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
Mr Dallas will also be raising money for OcuMel UK, the specialist charity supporting those suffering with eye cancers.
He said: “OcuMel only have one full time employee and they work so hard for patients and only this week they’ve been able to help me.
“It’s such a specialised subject. We have gone up Scafell Pike to train already and we’re getting prepped for June.”
Stephen and Pete’s cause can be supported online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ThreepeaksforOcuMel_UK
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