Personal cancer story
My story is one that you've probably heard before. I enjoyed a typical Australian childhood and spent plenty of time soaking up our wonderful sun. We didn't know too much about sun protection, but we'd occasionally slop on some sunscreen if we were at the beach. It would wash off and we never thought to reapply.
It took me until much later in life to realise what effect those years in the sun could have on my health. I was about 50 when I first noticed something unusual about a patch of skin on my face. I visited my GP and he sent me along to a dermatologist. It turned out to be the first of many skin cancers I've had removed from my face, including one on my nose that required fairly significant surgery. I've been lucky enough to dodge any melanomas but it certainly made me change my ways.
I'm still paying the price for a youth spent unaware of the harmful effects of UV, but I know that I'm preventing further damage every time I protect myself."
I take care of myself now. There's no better advice than to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide. Even when I'm relaxing with friends and enjoying a game of golf, I make sure I'm as protected as possible. I keep my dermatologist busy and there's always something new to be treated. I'm still paying the price for a youth spent unaware of the harmful effects of UV, but I know that I'm preventing further damage every time I protect myself. It's never too late to start.
I've made sure my two boys heard the message loud and clear while growing up. They know the importance of being SunSmart and hopefully that will save them a few trips to the doctor's. All the information is out there – it's just a matter of paying attention. Check yourself, know what's normal for your skin, and see a doctor if you notice a change. Take care, be aware and do the smart thing.
Read more stories about people's personal experiences with cancer