Personal cancer story
Age when diagnosed: 41
Cancer Type: Basal Cell Carcinoma
Through my adult life I have always been very healthy, active through sports and other interests, and always love being outdoors. As a personal trainer, I eat healthy, exercise regularly and generally look after my body to get the most out of it.
It was late in the year of 2021 when I noticed a scratch, scab or something which I could only feel in the crown of my hair. I presumed I bumped or knocked it and dismissed it to an extent, not fussed at all. The 2 things triggered me to get this checked out:
- I had seen a Facebook post about BCC skin cancers, and they are a dry, scabby, indented mark on the skin. This was a bit familiar.
- The other was gut instinct, it just didn’t feel right. It was new to me as I hadn’t felt it before.
I explained I was concerned of a specific skin spot and really needed it checked. The doctor observed the spot, he had concerns and asked another doctors opinion to view it as well."
I made a skin check appointment, with Covid delays and being a new patient, this was not for over 6 months. Again, my gut instinct kicked in and I was nervous to wait that long for this mark. I then tried a doctor’s appointment. I explained I was concerned of a specific skin spot and really needed it checked. The doctor observed the spot, he had concerns and asked another doctors opinion to view it as well. Both concerned over the spot they booked me in for removal at the practice in the next week, where it then got sent to pathology for results.
I received results between Christmas and New Years and told that it was a basal cell carcinoma, and they removed a 2-3mm margin around the spot, but it was not enough. This would lead to a larger requirement for surgery and a bigger margin around the affected area. This occurred early February 2022 and resulted in over 30 external stitches and a large area removed.
I have since had 2 full body skin checks and have my next booked in. I am also a lot more conscious of being out in the sun, as well as my family, friends and workmates, ensuring they are covered and have sunscreen on when outdoors.
It is important to check your skin regularly, so you know what is normal for you. If you notice a change in shape, size or colour of a spot, see your doctor. Use the 5 types of sun protection whenever the UV is 3 and above to protect yourself daily.
Read more about how to check for signs of skin cancer.