Fitness influencer Tammy Hembrow has issued a stark warning to her followers after a simple skin check turned into something more sinister.
The 29-year-old mother took to her Instagram stories on Friday to share a public service announcement with her followers to get a skin check.
She revealed she had her own skin check a week ago – which she had cancelled a handful of times due to her busy schedule.
“I finally went and there was a new little freckle that was on the back of my leg,” she said, adding she didn’t think much of it.
“But when my doctor looked at it, he thought it looked a little bit suss.”
It turned out that the freckle was in fact melanoma.
She said “quite a big chunk” had to be taken to be taken out of her leg and she needed 30 stitches to close the wound.
“I now have to go back every three months for a full skin check to make sure that it isn’t coming back,” she said.
Tammy said it had been about a year since her last skin check and she added it was super lucky the melanoma had been found when it was.
“As you know, I’m in the sun all the time. I go to the beach all the time. I haven’t been the most diligent person when it comes to wearing sunscreen and things like that,” she said, adding she is constantly making sure her kids are sun safe.
“To be honest, I feel like an idiot because it’s just one of those things you don’t think will happen to you until it does.”
She said she was no longer going outside without SPF 50 on, and encouraged everyone to get their skin checked.
According to current statistics from the Cancer Council, two in three Australians are predicted to be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70 – yet recent research from life insurer TAL found that 63 per cent of the population have not had a skin check in the last 12 months, and 30 per cent have never had one.