A young woman born with a giant cancerous mole on her face is undergoing life-saving treatment which involves her skin being stretched over egg-like balloons. Xiao Yan, aged 23, suffers from congenital melanocytic nevus and the only way she can avoid her huge mole becoming malignant is by growing new skin tissue with the help of surgeons in China.
The treatment, which is being done at the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital in East China, was deemed crucial after her facial mole began hurting last March and medics warned of potential cancer cell growth. Doctors have promised her a ‘new face’ at the end of the process. She said: ‘Despite the big black mole on my face, I enjoyed my childhood playing with my friends, I was carefree.
But as I grew older, the fact that I was different became increasingly magnified.’ Her mum Yang Xiua said she had to ‘beg’ villagers in Longjing Village, Guizhou Province, to stop making fun of her daughter, who became the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. Following recommendations from doctors last year, Xiao’s family had to raise £11,177 for the first stage of her treatment in Shanghai, which began in October.
Doctors planted expanders in her face and now inject saline into the devices twice a week. Xiao said: ‘During the first month of treatment, my face hurt so much because of the egg-sized expanders and the saline injections that I wanted to slam my face into a wall.’