The mole was tiny – half a centimetre at most – but Kylie, 37, says it just didn’t look right. ‘It was brown with a few black spots in it,’ she remembers.
In Sydney, Shannan met a skin specialist.
‘Lying on the bed being examined I felt such an idiot,’ he says.
‘I was tanned after sun-baking on holiday being checked for a possible melanoma.’
The possibility quickly became a reality as the mole and surrounding area was cut out and sent for biopsy. A week later it came back positive.
‘The doctor didn’t downplay it. He said it was serious, but I was very lucky,’ Shannan says. ‘The melanoma was 0.6mm deep. If it gets to 1mm it can be in your blood and you’re in all sorts of trouble.’
Shannan had a 15cm area cut away to remove tissue around the mole, and they got it all.
‘Kylie saved my bacon,’ Shannan says smiling.
‘If she hadn’t spotted it I’m not sure I would… and things could have been very different.’
Shannan is now a proud father to Max, four, and Milla, two, and he wants to make sure he’s always around for them.
‘I have six-monthly skin checks and I’m very conscious of other types of cancers too. That scare made me realise I’m not bulletproof. Even being healthy and fitness-conscious doesn’t make you immune,’ he says.
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – out now.
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