EXCLUSIVE: “A huge wake up call” Natalie Barr reflects on her cancer diagnosis

“When you hear the ‘C’ word, the shock goes right through you."
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A week after revealing her skin cancer diagnosis on Sunrise, Natalie Barr, 56, has shared further details with New Idea about the health scare.

“When you hear the ‘C’ word, the shock goes right through you,” she recalled of her reaction to the scary discovery. “Your mind goes off on a tangent.”

When a persistent pimple on her nose refused to fade, Nat visited a dermatologist who confirmed the diagnosis with AI.

Luckily, the 56-year-old was able to have the cancer removed non-surgically.

Nat described the news as “a huge wake-up call”.

natalie barr skin cancer
Nat is currently in the process of having a skin cancer removed. (Credit: Seven)

“I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s and put baby oil on my skin to sunbathe on [WA’s] Scarborough Beach,” she told us.

“We didn’t think about skin cancer back then and only wore a hat if it matched our outfit”

While the mum-of-two has become more sun smart since then, she’s definitely going to up her game further following this recent close call.

“I am going to double my efforts when it comes to protecting myself because being told you have cancer, even at the earliest stage, really just brings home what you could stand to lose if the diagnosis was worse – like it is for so many other Australians,” she said.

Since the airing of her story on the show, Nat says others close to her, including Sunrise colleague Edwina Bartholomew, have booked their own skin checks.

natalie barr on set of sunrise wearing white blazer
“So many Aussies, millions, and millions of us have skin cancer, but it does make you think.” (Credit: Instagram)

“If anyone at all can take what’s happened to me as a reminder to get health checks then I’m glad,” she told us.

“I never thought this would happen to me, but now I’m just so unbelievably thankful that we caught it early.”

This isn’t the first of Nat’s health scares. Last year, she reflected on the time as a teenager when she almost lost the ability to walk.

Speaking to Sunday Life magazine, the Sunrise star said: “I got really sick with a disease in my spine called osteomyelitis.

nat barr and matt shirvington on set of sunrise
Nat co-hosts Sunrise with Matt Shirvington. (Credit: Seven)

“The bug had eaten two of my vertebrae and they were crumbling.”

She ended up in hospital where an orthopaedic surgeon told her: “Lie down, or you’ll never sit up again.”

The recovery process was painful, with the then-15-year-old needing a lumbar puncture – a procedure which sees a needle inserted directly into the spinal canal.

Nat described it as a “really defining moment” in her life as she didn’t know if she would lose the ability to walk.

Thankfully, Nat made a full recovery with no lasting spinal damage.

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