Melanoma a timely wake-up call

South Western Times

Melanoma survivor Wayne Bolton is urging people to protect themselves from the sun this summer before it is too late.

Mr Bolton said melanoma could strike at any age and getting burnt early in life could have serious repercussions later on.

“You wouldn’t walk out into a cloud of mustard gas, so why would you walk into the sun without any protection?” he said.

Melanoma survivor Wayne Bolton shares his message ahead of the summer season.
Camera IconMelanoma survivor Wayne Bolton shares his message ahead of the summer season. Credit: Chloerissa Eadie

“I was never a sun-tanner, but there is hidden damage from getting burnt even once and the damage from the sun needs to be taken seriously.

“The biggest and most exposed organ is your skin and the reality is that we’ve got all the tools to stop getting burnt.

“I am lucky that cancer didn’t take my life, but gave me life.”

Mr Bolton said the UV level was the killer, not the heat, and at any time of day a hat, sunglasses, protective clothing and sunscreen were necessary.

Cancer Council South West regional education officer Dianne Pope said people who exposed themselves to the sun were “dicing with death”.

She said the WA survey of attitudes towards sun protection this year showed only a third of WA teenagers 14 to 17 years old wore a hat or sun protective clothing.

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