I ignored doctors' advice for 16 years and lost half my face to skin cancer

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For years Yvonne de Kock tried to treat the sore on her lip herself. She tells of her regret of not heeding medical advice sooner. (Photo: Onkgopotse Koloti)
For years Yvonne de Kock tried to treat the sore on her lip herself. She tells of her regret of not heeding medical advice sooner. (Photo: Onkgopotse Koloti)

The spot on her top lip was an annoyance but she ignored it – and even when doctors told her it was likely to be skin cancer, she refused to go the conventional treatment route.

It would be a decision Yvonne de Kock of Johannesburg would come to regret for the rest of her life.

Sixteen years after she first noticed the sore, her lip, part of her nose and upper jaw had to be removed, leaving her in constant pain and with a drastically altered appearance.

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