My melanoma [skin cancer] diagnosis

In February  2023, I became one of the 16,800 Australian’s who will be diagnosed with melanoma this year. I have 20+ stitches and will forever have a scar as a reminder. While I’m going to be ok, another 6-12 months and it could have been a different story.⁣

During my regular skin check my doctor noticed a spot on my arm that looked suspicious and shaved it off for a biopsy. I’ve always had regular checks and being half-Greek I have olive skin. Plus, I’m obsessive about wearing sunscreen and use fake tan for my shoots. So, when a week later the results came back positive for a ‘melanoma in situ’, I was shocked.⁣

‘Melanoma is situ’ is an early melanoma – it means it hasn’t gone through the epidermis. I was referred to a plastic surgeon to remove the margins around the melanoma. I was initially concerned about the scar, until I was told there was a small chance the melanoma was deeper.⁣

Two weeks later I had the surgery and a few days after that I found out I was in the clear – no more melanoma. I’m so grateful for my amazing doctors Dr Christoph Thelen at CBD Skin Cancer Clinic for the early detection and Dr Jeon Cha for his incredible surgical skills.⁣

While my photos may indicate otherwise, I don’t actually sun bake, and I wear SPF 50+ every day. Although I do acknowledge there are things I can do better and differently. I know posing in the sun for a photo or floating in the water for a drone shot is not much different to sun baking, so it’s something I’m going to have to rethink for my shoots.⁣

If you haven’t had a skin check or are overdue for one, please #GetASkinCheck as a matter of urgency. In Australia we have the highest rate of melanoma in the world – we are all at risk, regardless of skin type, genetics, and ethnicity.⁣

I don’t normally post about personal health issues, but this message is too important not to share. Skin checks are life saving.⁣

Get ready for a shadier island life coming your way. 🌴