A man was told he had just months to live after he developed cancer caused — by stubbing his TOE seven years ago.
Roland Monger, 36, was walking to work in the snow in 2009 when he slipped and broke his ankle leaving his foot in a plaster cast with his toe exposed.
He then stubbed the protruding toe on a step and, despite the digit going bloody and black, Roland thought nothing of it and carried on with his life.
But seven years later doctors gave him the bombshell news that he had aggressive cancer and may have just one year to live.
They found a grapefruit-size tumour in his right groin – and traced the cause back to the seemingly innocuous accident involving his toe.
It was diagnosed as a form of skin cancer known as malignant metastatic melanoma.
It is caused where melanoma cells spread through the lymph nodes to distant sites in the body and/or to the body’s organs.
Although it had spread to the groin, it was still classed as skin cancer.
Doctors told him that while 80 per cent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure the other 20 per cent come from traumas, like hitting a limb really hard.
Fortunately, the cancer appears to have been spotted just in time and almost a year on Roland is now recovering.
He has undergone radiotherapy and is back at work, although he still needs regular checks.
Roland, a university admission manager from Torpoint, Cornwall, said: “It was a pretty horrible feeling. I was shell-shocked.
“It’s a bit of a mystery. I was living in London and I was making my way to work in the snow and I slipped and broke my ankle.
“My foot was in a cast but my toe was exposed and I slammed it into a step.
“It was black and bloody and was giving me a few problems so I got it checked out.
“Although a lot has happened since, stubbing my toe was the trigger point for my cancer.
“Stubbing my toe happened in January 2009 whilst working and living in London but my cancer was discovered in March 2016.
“The cause was traced back through medical records and a biopsy.”
Roland said the trauma of the 2009 injury damaged the skin and the cancer developed within it and lay dormant inside his body for many years.
He explained: “My immune system was then compromised in 2015 due to an operation on my gall bladder which allowed the cancer to spread.
“It was caught when it developed into a tumour in my right groin.”
Tests and scans detected the grapefruit-size tumour in his Roland’s groin area.
Doctors told him it was so aggressive he might only have a year to live.
He added: “We did a few tests and there was no mole.
“But I was told that while 80 per cent of skin cancer cases come from sun exposure, another 20 per cent comes from traumas, like hitting a limb really hard.
“That causes the cancer to spread.”
Luckily the lymphatic system in his body had prevented the cancer from spreading towards his vital organs and the tumour was successfully removed.
“I’ve got a 10-inch scar up my leg and in my groin area,” he said.
“I needed to have drains through my leg full of lymph nodes which drew the infection from the skin.
“Then my 20 sessions of radiotherapy began – up to the hospital for 10 minutes every morning.”
Roland, who lives with partner Gemma Turner, said the radiotherapy appears to have worked.
He added: “Treatment is done for now but I go for quarterly scans and check ups to monitor any regrowth.”