Get your symptom checked.
Young father and husband Steve was on his way out the door to a get a prescription filled when his wife reminded him to get the spot behind his ear checked. She’d noticed the spot had gone from a medium-sized brown freckle colour to a darker brown spot, and that it had grown in size. Steve’s wife had been encouraging him to get it checked out by his GP for a while. For Steve, it really was ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and he kept forgetting about it.
Before having his script filled, Steve showed his GP the spot behind his ear. Steve’s GP initially decided the spot was probably okay, though went back for a second look after writing his script and decided to cut it out then and there. The sample was sent off for testing and a week later Steve’s GP told him the spot was a melanoma.
The result came as a shock and Steve broke the difficult news to his heavily pregnant wife as he played with their 18 month old baby. Fortunately Steve was booked in for surgery at the hospital within a couple of days. The surgeon made a larger incision to remove a wider diameter of tissue.
It was a huge relief to be given the all clear a week or two later. Since then, Steve has ensured he and his family always wear protective clothing including a hat and sunscreen when they’re outdoors.
‘Don’t be an idiot, get it checked.’
Checking your own skin
Skin cancers can grow quickly, so it’s important to become familiar with your own skin (including skin not normally exposed to the sun) through regular self-checks. Find out the steps and some examples of what to look for.
Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any new or changed spots, moles or freckles. Changes to look out for include shape, colour or size.