Tom had an itch to save his life

By FRAZER PEARCE

AN ITCHY mole on Tom Wyatt's back may have saved his life. The Rockhampton City Council's director of parks and recreation's decision to go to his doctor to check out a mole led to the discovery of a cancerous growth on his forehead.

It took two operations to remove it. The 58-year-old is now in the clear and he knows he is lucky, thanks to the early detection.

"It was fairly serious,'' he said.

"It would have developed into (a melanoma).''

He encouraged all Central Queenslanders to be aware of any skin changes on their bodies.

"It pays to check it out,'' he said.

"Especially if you have played a lot of sport and spent time in the sun.''

He put his skin cancer down to not wearing a hat enough when he was a young man. Hats were "square'' in those days when the only protection for many was zinc cream on the nose.

He said a continual worry to him now was the number of children in Rockhampton not wearing hats despite Queensland being the skin cancer capital of the world where one in 16 men and one in 23 women suffered melanomas.



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