Joanne Morgan, a makeup artist for CNN's London office, publicly revealed she was undergoing treatment for ocular melanoma. She hopes that by sharing her story on UK media she can remind Britons of the importance of getting an annual eye exam.
Morgan recently sat down with Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain to talk about her cancer diagnosis and her treatment at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital. She also took this opportunity to encourage all UK residents to get their eyes checked at least once per year.
A few months ago, Morgan says she started noticing weird changes in her peripheral vision. Morgan's optician in Beaconsfield recommended she visit London's Claremont Clinic to get more advanced scans. It was at Claremont Clinic that doctors discovered Morgan had ocular melanoma.
Thankfully, opticians discovered Morgan's cancer early enough so they could successfully operate. Even Morgan admits she might not have been alive today had doctors not diagnosed her with this disease was in its beginning stages.
For treatment, doctors placed a radioactive plaque on the back of Morgan's eyes. She says she will need to take scans at least every six months to make sure the cancer doesn't metastasize.
The charity group OcuMel UK has supported Morgan financially throughout this health scare. Members of the OcuMel UK staff are proud Morgan has decided to share her story with the public. In their statements to the press, OcuMel UK's executives stress the importance of getting a yearly eye exam to check for various forms of cancer.
Morgan was quick to point out that annual eye exams aren't only important for adults. She said parents must send their children to get an eye exam at least once every 24 months. Children sometimes don't notice changes like blurred vision or tunnel vision as quickly as parents do, Morgan argued.
Ocular melanoma is one of the most common forms of melanoma around the world. There are at least 600 new ocular melanoma cases in the UK and 2,000 in the USA each year. Oftentimes these cancers don't present obvious visual symptoms until they've developed a great deal. Without swift treatment, it's common for these cancers to metastasize to vital organs like the liver.
Anyone in the UK who has or knows someone who has eye cancer is encouraged to visit OcuMel UK's website. OcuMel UK's mission is to provide patients with the latest information on ocular melanoma as well as emotional and financial support. You can call OcuMel UK at 0300 790 0512 or send a letter to 139 Langley Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL3 7DZ.
To watch the Good Morning Britain interview with Joanne Morgan as well at Gillian Nuttal, the founder of Melanoma UK, click on this link.