I’d love to buy a Passiona for whoever came up with the Melanoma Institute’s fantastic call to action slogan, Game on mole (available on t shirts and bucket hats—every wardrobe needs one!) It’s classically Aussie—taking a light hearted approach to get you to take your skin seriously.
I won’t overload you with statistics, but there are a few really stark ones I hope you don’t look away from.
• Melanoma is the most common cancer for Aussies aged 20 to 39.
• The first sign is often a new or changing mole.
• One Australian is diagnosed every 30 minutes and one dies every six hours.
• In 2022, almost 18,000 new cases were diagnosed.
The year before, I was one of them. If I’d been diagnosed 10 years ago, my survival chance would have been less than 10 per cent. Now it’s over 50 per cent.
That’s thanks to brilliant research, clinical trials and advances in treatment. My own personal poster boy for what medicine can do is former Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead, who was diagnosed with melanoma that spread to his lungs. In June 2016 ‘Roughie’ began a new immunotherapy treatment that had just finished testing in clinical trials and included the drug Opdivo. Five months later he was given the all clear and declared cancer free.
A great story. Then it was made even better when the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association approved Opdivo.
I owe my life to medical research and can’t wait to take part in the Melbourne version of the Melanoma March held annually by the Melanoma Institute Australia all across Australia.
The Melbourne walk is happening this weekend. It’s 4kms, you can bring your friends, you can wear your ‘Game on mole’ bucket hat or t shirt or you can stay on your couch and donate! My goal is to raise $5,000. You can help me get there by donating here or clicking the link below.
The institute is aiming to raise $1 million. Get around them. Or just promise me you’ll get your skin checked, wear sunscreen and reapply regularly, don’t bake outside when the UV is really high. I know the price you pay. Everyone thinks it will never happen to them. I did.
Let me know if I should look out for you at the Melanoma March. Definitely game on!