A woman who was diagnosed with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – has blamed bad traffic for her condition.

Kim Chilvers, 54, believes that the disease was caused by sun rays streaming through her car window during one too many traffic jams.

“I drove to work two or three times a week and was often in my car with the sun beating through the window… I didn’t realise it was giving me cancer,” said the mother of three, who has always avoided sitting directly in the sun and taught her children how to protect themselves from diseases.

The cancer was discovered in the British woman by chance when she went to a GP about something unrelated, and a dermatologist suggested she get a mark on her right cheek checked out – which turned out to be the early stages of skin cancer.

Though the cancerous skin area and graft has since been removed through a medical procedure, Mrs Chilvers is urging others to make sunscreen a regular part of their daily routine – something she never did herself.

“I thought skin cancer was something you got from sun beds and sunbathing abroad,” she said.

“We all want to enjoy the sun but we’ve got to be sensible in it.”