Spotlight on melanoma

Third surgery

A small spot of flakey skin which would not moisturise seemed a bit weird to Buddina-based triathlete Cathie Wynne, so when she next took her son Baylin to the doctor she showed him the small rough spot near her hairline.

The doctor looked at the spot with a magnifying glass and decided it looked suspicious enough to freeze it off and see what happened.

Two years and four surgeries later the highly aggressive squamous cell carcinoma Cathie is facing the prospect of radiation therapy.

It had grown quickly in width and formed a large tumour, which went down into the layers of Cathie’s dermis layer.

“It was getting bigger and deeper after each operation, despite several attempts to remove all the cancer,” she said.

“After the first surgery I was really positive and just thought they’d get rid of it and I’d be back to normal.

“After things progressed and it wasn’t going away, it really rattled me because I have always been healthy and kept a good balance.

“It made me feel completely out of control; it was all so much out of my hands.

“My two boys were really devastated and quite upset about what it meant – the word ‘cancer’ is so scary.”

In the most recent fourth surgery last month she required skin grafting from behind her right ear and faces radiation if it hasn’t been fully removed.

Cathie is urging others to have regular skin checks and will be participating in the Sunshine Coast’s first Melanoma March on 31 March in support of Melanoma Institute Australia.

Having lost his sister Tess to melanoma aged 31 in 2012, founder of bakslap, and sun safety advocate, Raphael McGowan is organising the march in the region for the first time.

The community are invited to participate in a 4km walk from 2.30-6pm (walk starts at 4pm) atBukh Park, Alexandra Headlands 167 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra HeadlandWhat’s on: 4km walk, live music, food trucks, sun safety retailers and information.

To register visit to register or to donate


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