Page last updated at 21:23 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chip shop stranger spots cancer

John Burns in the chip shop
Mr Burns goes to the fish and chip shop every Friday

A man is trying to trace a doctor who may have saved his sight after a chance meeting in a fish and chip shop.

John Burns, from West Bridgford in Nottingham, ignored a lump near his eye for months until a stranger in a queue advised him to get it checked out.

He went to hospital and had a golf ball-sized tumour removed. Doctors said it could have damaged his sight.

Now he is appealing to the man, who introduced himself only as a doctor, to get in touch.

Mr Burns, 66, admitted he had already dismissed advice from his family to get the growth examined when he was stopped by the stranger in his local fish and chip shop.

I'd just like to say thanks and maybe buy him a bag of chips
John Burns

"The guy followed me to my car and tapped on the window and told me he was a doctor.

"He said I had a small lesion in the corner of my eye and he suggested that if I hadn't had it looked at already I should have it looked at very pronto.

"You talk about fate - if this guy had been two paces further in front of me he wouldn't have seen it. I'd just like to say thanks and maybe buy him a bag of chips."

Dr Sandeep Varma, consultant dermatologist at the Queen's Medical Centre, said: "While this sort of cancer isn't fatal, it can end up leaving a significant defect in someone's face.

"Plus it could have spread to his eye, so the person in the chippy did him a real favour and may even have saved his sight."

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John Burns was advised by a man in the queue that he needed to have his eye examined



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