Alannah Hill recently underwent an operation to remove a tiny “invasive malignant melanoma of the spreading type” on one of her left toes. She discovered it by accident and wouldn’t have known or suspected it to be cancerous at all if she hadn’t kicked her foot so forcefully on the skirting board that she needed to go to the hospital for treatment. Alannah’s doctor requested a biopsy, and later told her that if it hadn’t been spotted for another three months, the cancer would have likely become terminal.
Her story shows the extreme importance of early detection and regular skin checks.
“The main thing to remember – and I can’t stress this enough –” she says, “is that we all, unfortunately, believe we are invincible. I thought my little freckle was just a freckle getting bigger. But it was the first signs of a melanoma – which is a sign to go and get checked. Getting checked is what the doctors preach most. They despair, so often, as they lose people after hearing the words, ‘If only … if only I’d gone earlier and gotten checked earlier.’.”