G'day, my name is Jacob.
I am pretty down to earth and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.
I learned about my skin melanoma 3 years ago. It was just a small mark on my leg. I ignored it completely and paid no attention to it. I would jog every day during my lunch break a couple of kms to a nearby gym. I couldn't be bothered to wear any sun protection or sun screen for such a short jog.
I think I was extremely lucky and that some higher power was looking after me, because my GP stopped me one day when I met her at the gym. She had a look at my leg and recommended I have her friend look at it, just in case. I didn't think much about it, but decided to follow up. The skin doctor had closer look at my leg and was not clear if we should do anything about that mark right away, but we've decided to remove it "just in case."
Two weeks later I was called back to the doctor's office again. Doctor had a pretty serious expression on her face and said "We have cut out early malignant melanoma. You need to go into surgery to have wide incision done pretty soon."
I was in such a shock it took me a few hours to get the message. I went into surgery a few days later and the procedure went well. That was three years ago and now my approach to sun protection is very different.
I pay extremely close attention to sun protection. I bought a number of sun protective shirts and hats, use sun scream every day and pretty much always wear a hat when outdoors.
I would say to my younger self "mate, this is really serious. Do not play around, just make sure you are always protecting yourself from the sun."
Pictured: full sun protection even on cloudy days.
Thank you Jacob for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team
Australians love the great outdoors and our sunny skies make the Australian lifestyle one of the most envied in the world. Notwithstanding, the extensive “Slip Slop Slap” campaign, many Australians are still exposing themselves to the severity and dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
It's essential to check your skin regularly. Early detection of skin cancers is very important, especially for melanoma, as the survival rate is much greater when caught early. Research shows that it can sometimes be as little as a matter of months between when a melanoma is first detected to the point where it metastasises and becomes a lot more difficult to treat.