Mayor's skin cancer shock after chance examination
WHEN Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale cut the ribbon at the opening of a new Ipswich skin cancer clinic he wasn't expecting to have a malignant skin cancer cut out of his left eyebrow four days later.
But that is what happened this week when Dr Damien Foong of Ipswich Skin Cancer Clinic removed the nasty basal cell carcinoma.
It was just as well Dr Foong, a skin cancer doctor, removed it because left for a longer period of time it had the potential to grow and result in Cr Pisasale losing his eye. Cr Pisasale said it was a lesson for him and for all in the community to ensure they get their skin checked on a regular basis.
"There is a good message in this," Cr Pisasale said.
"Sometimes we can be so busy we forget about the most important thing which is our health.
"I had my whole body checked. I will be going back every six months for check-ups."
Cr Pisasale explained how he came to get a check-up by chance.
"I came here all excited to open a new skin cancer clinic, which is fantastic for Ipswich," he said.
"When I got here the doctor showed me how the skin microscope worked.
"I showed him this little thing that had been niggling me over the last five years.
"I'd play with it and occasionally it would bleed. I put some cream on it and it would go away and come back.
"I didn't know if it was a pimple or a scar tissue. But I'd let it go too long."
Dr Foong examined the spot under a powerful skin microscope and saw the tell tale signs of cancer.
Cr Pisasale had a freckle that, to the naked eye, looked very similar to the skin cancer spot.
But using the state-of-the-art computerised skin microscope Dr Foong showed Cr Pisasale the tell-tale signs that he had a problem on his left eyebrow.
Cr Pisasale was operated on this week and had four internal stitches and 12 on the wound
"I am glad it is over. It was more stitches than I thought, but seeing the cancer cut out is just a relief," he said.
For men 18 to 42 the second most-common cause of death is melanoma. Dr Foong said that in 2010 there were 1800 Australians who died of melanoma and about 700 died of squamous cell carcinoma, more than the 1367 people that died on Australian roads.
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SKIN CANCERSKIN CANCER
- The second most common cause of death for 18 to 42 year old males is melanoma.
- Melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma killed around 2500 Australians in 2010