Nicole Johns, who has had many melanomas, is warning others to get their skin checked.
Nicole Johns, who has had many melanomas, is warning others to get their skin checked.

'Some people only have one and they're terminal'

NICOLE Johns asked many doctors to check her mole before she finally found one who reluctantly did a biopsy.

Ms Johns, of Sarina, said the mole was changing colour and was a strange shape but doctors kept telling her it was fine.

But when the biopsy was finally done, it was discovered Ms Johns have a level two melanoma.

That was six years ago. Since then, doctors have found a further four level one melanomas on Ms Johns' body.

"I had one on the side of my neck, my big one on the leg, one on the top of my foot and the rest were on my back," she said.

"In six years, I've had quite a few borderline melanomas. I've also had a lot of skin cancers."

Growing up on a farm in Tasmania, Ms Johns didn't wear hats, sunscreen or have any sun protection.

"We got fried," she said.

"We'd put a T-shirt on over our blisters until they went and then we'd go get burnt all over again.

"That's what it was like in our day, we didn't know about sun safety or anything like that."

Ms Johns said while the disease was becoming more common, there were still many misconceptions.

"People don't realise unless you've been around someone who has had (melanoma)," she said. "They think because ... you've had the melanoma out, you're ok.

"But you don't know when the next one will come ... Some people only have one and they're terminal."

Ms Johns said it was good to familiarise yourself with what to look for to identify potential melanomas.


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