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It is easy to forget to be sun smart when we live in a climate where we have so many days of glorious weather. To get swept up in the moment of simply getting out there and enjoying life in our great outdoors.

I am Australian born and bred and accordingly spent a lot of time in the sun, especially as a kid. To the best of my knowledge my family was pretty sun smart when I was a kid but I am sure not as smart as we should have been. I was a tanned kid who spent half of my life in a swimming pool, river or ocean.

As an adult the full ramifications of this finally sunk in and I have endeavoured to be conscious of any changes in my skin. So over during the second half of last year I became mildly concerned about a freckle/pigment on my upper abdomen. It had been there for as long as I could remember but something had changed, something ever so slight that if I was less vigilant would not be noticed. It was a change in colour and possibly a shift in its shape, it could be nothing, it could be everything.

Not one to shy away from a Doctor’s visit when necessary I made an appointment and took myself off for a professional opinion. Doctor examined it and also concluded it was suspect; just like a potential criminal. The advice was to have a biopsy as soon as possible. Sure, let’s do that, get the suspect freckle off me.

A few days later I went back to have the biopsy, get stitched up, then look longingly at the swimming pool which I was not allowed to use until it had healed over a bit.

Whilst I did not have any grave fear it would be cancerous it was still a little unsettling waiting for the results, which at the end of the day were all clear. BUT it was noted the biopsied tissue (I have forgotten the terminology used) was indicative of cells that could have had a different result. In other words stay vigilant for the future and act accordingly. Noted.

You can see in the images above just how small this freckle was and how uninspiring its call to action. I urge you all to not be complacent, to use your best judgement and even if you don’t feel it is necessary the fact you wondered if it was should be enough reason to have your spot checked.

Stay sun smart and happy summer.

xA

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