Wembley-based occupational therapist and former WA state champion track and field athlete Travis Jenkins is urging men to be vigilant about sun protection and skin cancer checks, after a routine health check took an unexpected turn.

Mr Jenkins had just turned 40 when he decided to visit his GP for some routine tests.

“I knew I had been a bit tardy with my mole checks so at the end of 2020 I asked my GP to have a look” he said.

“He found a couple of moles on my back that he wasn’t happy with, so I was sent to a dermatologist who then found a suspicious mole on the sole of my left foot located in the arch.”

The mole was sent for a biopsy and the results came back; it was a melanoma.

Travis has surgery to remove it, then further surgery to remove additional tissue.

“It was such a shock because I thought I was invincible.” he said.

“What was supposed to be a routine visit completely changed my life.

“I couldn’t work for four weeks; I couldn’t run for four months, and I had two kids under nine at the time.

“I encourage all men over 40 to make their health a priority and book a skin check with their GP if they notice anything different.”

Cancer Council WA SunSmart Manager Sally Blane said it is important to know your skin and what is normal for you, particularly of you are over 40 years of age.

Common symptoms of skin cancer include a new spot or mole on your skin, a spot that is different from other spots on your skin, any crusty or non-healing sores, any spots, freckles, or any moles changing in size (width), thickness (height), colour or shape.

If you notice any of these symptoms or any other unusual changes, tell your doctor.


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