Young mum-of-two dies after GP told her a mole was ‘nothing to worry about’

An NHS worker and mum-of-two has died of skin cancer at just 26 after her GP told her the mole on her back was nothing to worry about.

Zoe Panayi died just 55 days after being told that the mole was malignant and the disease had spread, reports the Sun.

Her family say she had been concerned about the blemish for years but that her doctor twice told her not to be concerned.

Now her mum, Eileen Punter, has called for skin tags and moles to be taken more seriously as she felt her daughter was “not listened to properly”.

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Ms Panayi was a keen netballer, Irish dancer and horse rider and had worked in care homes before landing her dream job as a radiography assistant at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight.

She balanced work with caring for her two kids, Theo-Jay, seven, and Tobias, five.

Ms Punter said she was charged £195 (AU$352) at a private clinic to have her daughter’s mole removed after her GP suggested cosmetic removal and allegedly told her it was nothing to worry about.

She said the GP had twice been asked about her daughter’s mole, in 2017 and 2018.

She is now considering making complaints against the GP and the beauty clinic.

With the help of one of Zoe’s friends she is starting a petition calling for the testing of all moles removed to be standard practice at private clinics.

She said: “At the end of the day I just want people to be more aware. Don’t be fobbed off over moles and skin tags. Ask for a second opinion. It is about saving lives.

“We would also like all GPs and medical centres to take this far more seriously than they do, again by having the moles all tested and checked properly and referred to the hospitals and not beauty clinics.

“This has been the hardest 55 days of our lives. Zoe never complained while suffering as she did not want to cause upset to her family. She always thought of everyone before herself.

“We did everything we should by reporting the mole as soon as it changed in appearance, which we did twice, and feel that as Zoe was young, 26, she was not listened to properly and made to feel she was wasting the doctor’s time.”

Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am sad to learn about this case and my thoughts go out to her friends and family at what must be such a difficult time.

“If you are concerned about a new or existing mole then you can get more advice by searching ‘mole’ on

“If you notice a change in a new or existing mole then you should contact your GP as soon as possible.”

This article originally appeared on the Sun and was reproduced here with permission

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