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2 March 2015, 07:19
A mother-of-three who beat skin cancer has been chosen as the face of a campaign urging women to sign up for Cancer Research UK's Race for Life.
Caroline Begg, 35, was just 26 when diagnosed with malignant melanoma - the most serious form of skin cancer.
Now, she is urging women to sign up for a Race for Life 5K, 10K or Pretty Muddy event in Scotland this spring and summer.
She has posed with battle stripes on her face and the message "pink army'' spelled out on her nails as she calls on people to join Cancer Research UK's fight against the disease.
She said: "I'm loving every second of getting battle-ready for Race for Life to show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink.
"By standing together side by side we can all fight back against this devastating disease.
"I could have died all because I wanted a sun tan. I have a large scar on my back where they took away a mole that had become cancerous, but I know I'm one of the lucky ones.
"Cancer was caught early but I'm determined to raise awareness and to warn others of the dangers of sunbeds and over-exposure to the sun.
"I want to get the message out there that you really can be pale and interesting. Pale can be beautiful too. The most important thing of all is to stay healthy.''
Cancer Research UK is holding an event in Glasgow's Buchanan Street from 11am on Saturday, March 7 where women can sign up for Race for Life as well as try facepaint designs, bold tattoo transfers and nail art.
They can also capture their "battle cry'' alongside friends and family in the battle HQ photo-booth and take part in a boot-camp style fitness routine, led by a battle HQ "drill sergeant''.
Miss Begg, from Glasgow, went to the doctor after she noticed that one of the moles on her back had changed.
A biopsy revealed it was skin cancer and she endured surgery in May 2006 to have the mole removed and stop the cancer spreading.
She and her partner Keith Anderson, 36, have just launched Anderson's hair and beauty salon in South Frederick Street, Glasgow, where staff did her hair ahead of the Race for Life photoshoot.
Miss Begg, now mother to Oliver, four, Isabelle, two, and one-year-old Nicholas, is acutely aware of everything she could have missed out on if doctors had not picked up the skin cancer early.
She said: "I was aware that the sun could age your skin but I didn't even think about skin cancer.
"I'm fair-skinned with freckles and moles, so I'm actually in a high-risk category. Now I make sure my kids don't stay out in the sun too long and always use suncream.''
Skin cancer rates have quadrupled in Scotland since the 1970s, with the latest incidence rates showing that in Scotland every year about 1,200 people are now developing malignant melanoma.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: "Every hour, around three people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.
"That's why we are calling on brave ladies across Scotland to help make this year's Race for Life our best ever.
"It doesn't matter how fit or fast you are because Race for Life is not competitive. It's about an army of women standing shoulder-to-shoulder to take on cancer.
"We urge women to join Caroline and sign up today.''