Doctor 39 dies from the same type of skin cancer she spent her life researching

A doctor who dedicated her career to researching a certain type of skin cancer has tragically died from the same disease.

Dr Sharon Hutchinson aged 39 was diagnosed with skin cancer a year ago. She sadly lost her battle and passed away at the Highland Hospice last week. The melanoma expert spent six years working in the radio-pharmacy department in Raigmore Hospital, and was involved in producing treatment for thousands of cancer patients. She was involved in the development of melanoma drug treatment at Glasgow University before joining the University of the Highlands and Islands research team in the summer of 2018.

Dr Antonia Pritchard who was a colleague of Dr Hutchinson said she was a ‘great friend, meticulous researcher and I miss her immensely. She was very stotic. She faced it with immense strength. She was remarkable.’

According to her colleagues at Inverness Campus, the tragedy began when she had a mole on her neck checked out. After being diagnosed she ‘did all the right things’ and had two different types of therapy. 

The cancer was aggresisve and spread, however that didn’t stop her working right up until the beginning of December. Dr Pritchard said ‘She had major surgery and was back at work after one week. She had a tremendous work ethic when it came to the research, Dr Hutchinson was passionate about people getting themselves tested, hopefully that will be one of the outcomes from this. The team are determined to carry on their colleague’s legacy and have vowed to raise awareness of melanoma so people know how to spot the warning signs.’

Dr Hutchinson spent her final days at the Highland Hospice surrounding by family. Her funeral took place at Falkirk Crematorium yesterday and donations were made to the hospice. 

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Lizzie Day