It is a little-known fact, but one that serves as a timely reminder that none of us are immune to developing potentially deadly melanoma.
Even predators at the apex of the food chain, which spend most time in the depths of the ocean and far removed from harmful UV rays, have been documented to have developed melanoma.
It is a powerful message considering startling statistics that show one Australian dies from melanoma every five hours. It is the most common cancer affecting 15-39-year-olds and kills more 20-39-year-old’s that any other cancer.
Sutherland Shire has been identified as a melanoma hotspot with melanoma rates significantly higher than the state average.
In a bid to raise awareness and join the fight against melanoma, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have partnered with Melanoma Institute Australia for their June 17 clash with Wests Tigers at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Melanoma Institute Australia will be using the opportunity to raise funds for vital melanoma research and to raise awareness about the need to be sun-smart to reduce the melanoma risk.
Sharks’ legend Luke Lewis and his wife Sonia, who are both Melanoma Institute Australia ambassadors, are urging Sharks’ fans to get on board.
“We know too well the impact that melanoma can have on a young family,” said Sonia, who was diagnosed with melanoma when she was just 29 years old. “I am one of the lucky ones as my melanoma hadn’t yet spread, but had I left it another month to have the mole on my forehead removed then it may have been a different story.”
“Sonia and I are determined to raise awareness about melanoma and help Melanoma Institute Australia save lives, and we’d love Sharks’ fans to help us win the battle,” said Luke.
And if you’re wondering what happened to the shark with melanoma… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21370659
Photo - courtesy John Veage - St George and Sutherland Shire Leader