A young Australian mother-of-three got the shock of her life when she was diagnosed with melanoma at just 32, wrongly believing it was something that affected ‘older people’.
Kia Bourke first noticed a little mole on her torso had changed colour in February, becoming darker than the freckles around it.
Her husband spotted it a week later and raised the alarm, urging the young mother to visit their GP and have it checked over by a professional.
Kia Bourke first noticed a little mole on her torso had changed colour in February, becoming darker than the freckles around it
‘It was a big, big shock for myself and my family. Completely unexpected,’ Kia said on The Morning Show.
‘I just noticed it had gotten a little bit darker and my husband said I think you should go and get it checked. I went to the GP and thankfully he took it seriously, and we tested it, and it was a melanoma.’
The result was extensive surgery to remove the mole and surrounding lymph nodes, with a long stream of stitches now visible on her side.
‘It was a big, big shock for myself and my family. Completely unexpected,’ Kia said on The Morning Show
‘I’m feeling okay. It was a few days of being sore and quite bruised but I’m recovering well,’ she said.
Melanoma is the most common cancer for the 20 to 39 age group to get in Australia, partly because of our outdoor lifestyle and harsh climate.
It happens after the DNA in skin cells is damaged (typically due to harmful UV rays) and then not repaired so it triggers mutations that can form malignant tumours.
Kia’s advice for those who haven’t had their skin checked before is to book in an appointment and take the first step.
Also know your own body so you can easily decipher any changes as they occur.
‘Be sun smart. It can happen to anybody. And get regular checks,’ Kia warned.
Kia is urging Australians to participate in and donate to the Melanoma Institute Australia’s Melanoma March fundraising campaign, with events happening from this weekend. Individuals can sign up or donate at www.melanomamarch.org.au.