Since the ‘slip, slop, slap’ campaign was launched in 1981, most Australians would be well aware of the steps that need to be taken to limit their sun exposure and prevent skin cancer.
Even if all preventative measures are taken, many Australians will continue to be at risk of developing skin cancer during their lifetime, with the Cancer Council reporting that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in clients who have had a delayed diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. This happens when tests are not performed when they should be to identify whether a lesion is cancerous, or a skin cancer is identified but the results are not reported to the patient.
In May 2014, Bruce went to a skin cancer clinic to undergo a shave biopsy of a mole on his neck and was subsequently given the ‘all clear’.
Two years later, Bruce noticed a lump on his neck. He was sent for scans and a biopsy and ultimately was diagnosed Stage III melanoma, which was shortly upgraded to Stage IV melanoma — meaning that it had spread to his lymph nodes, chest and other organs.