Tuesday 10 November 2020

News reporter Peter Overton opens up about Melanoma


This is one scary situation, please read this article and notice the description at the bottom of the article, on the description variations. Not all melanoma look the same. My husband’s melanoma looked scaly and red. He was very lucky because his was stage one in situ but it left a massive and deep 9 cm by 7 cm scar on his upper arm , which must be kept covered so the sun doesn’t get to it. His scar turns a bluey purple colour when the weather is cool.  It is not a scar that can be easily hidden.

Please keep that in mind when you are out in the sun. All the years you spend at the beach or lying in the hot sun put you at risk. My husband never did any of that. He worked in an office and it is assumed that he got his melanoma from driving every day and the sun coming in the car window.

Both hubby and I are winter people and avoid the heat, we always have. But that is no guarantee that you won’t get melanoma. Even walking to  and from school every day as a child can put you at risk. It is generally young skin that gets damaged. But shows up later in life. My father had a tiny melanoma cut out this year too. That was traced back to his military service days in the Far East in the 50’s, and he is in his eighties now. He never lay in the hot sun either. 

On eBay you can buy “cool sleeves/ UV sleeves” to protect your arms when driving, playing sport, or just for out doors. They are quite cheap and worth investing in to avoid surgery in the years to come, and that is if the cancer is picked up in time. Time is the major factor,  the longer you ignore any skin issues the worse it becomes. So the longer you wait, the risk of death increases, don’t take that risk.

I have known women over the years that had skin like leather from constantly being out in the sun, sure they looked good as teenagers, but your skin under the hot sun dries and ages you. The skin becomes tough and that causes more work to be necessary to be done by the surgeon. Removing the melanoma also requires healthy skin surrounding the cancer to be cut to minimise the cancer cells attacking the healthy skin surrounding the melanoma.  Then the follow up treatment that follows for a few years depending on how severe the condition is. You also have to have lymph node mapping done and then followed up from time to time. Now thanks to Covid, the wait to see a doctor may be longer than it normally is and that risks a deterioration of the condition. 

Heed the warnings and help educate your family especially the young ones. The more aware they are the better the chance of avoiding melanoma. Hats, parasols and long sleeves are a must in the heat, but can be uncomfortable. But isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?