Apologies for the horrific, yet very vulnerable image of myself. This image was taken after a 3-week course of prescribed EFUDEX chemotherapy crème to prevent the growth of any skin cancers on my face.  When my doctor told me that she could see a little skin cancer appearing on my forehead I must admit, I was of the belief that it was only a little dry patch of skin, continuously forming in the same spot.

Above child birth, EFUDEX treatment was the most painful experience of my life, hands down.  Although I found childbirth painful and exhausting, it was over and done with after a few hours.  I can not describe how intensely painful this EFUDEX treatment was.  To add, the after effects of EFUDEX treatment was not as painful, but was incredibly irritatingly and itchy.

I’m honestly NOT trying to prevent anyone from using any types of preventative skin cancer treatments.  On the contrary!  I believe that I would have been in much more pain if I decided not to take my doctors advice to start the EFUDEX treatment.


What does Efudex do to your face?

The cream works by directly destroying the sun-damaged skin cells. This will cause intense inflammation, crusting, redness and oozing of the whole area treated. Inflammation is a good sign, as it shows the cream is having an effect.


Skin cancer, is the sneaky assassin!  The Launch of Syd the Seagull in 1980’s “Slip, Slop, Slap; campaign, started to help Australians become aware of the effects of sun exposure.  Like most children growing up in Australia in the 70’s, we lived for Summers.  I can’t recall seeing anyone wearing a hat (unless it was for fashion), most men didn’t wear a shirt and walked around in stubbies all day and, the ladies covered themselves in Reef Coconut Oil basting themselves like a rotisserie chook for hours on end.

From 1989 onwards, I would never venture outside without wearing a hat and covering up with some type of sunscreen or long shirt.  The skin cancers that you see on my face in the image above was caused by only 16 years of sun exposure and the sad news is, my doctor recommended that I should do the EFUDEX treatment again next year, as she believes there may be more skin cancers to come through.


FUCK CANCER!  I see this plastered on the back of so many cars nowadays when I’m travelling around.  I’m saddened of how quickly this sticker is getting around because to me, it shows the impact of how this sneaky assign aka cancer, is affecting all of us.  Here’s the website (https://www.fuckcancer.org/about-us/mission/) that strongly desires to educate and raise awareness to prevent cancer.

Fuck Cancer Mission Statement:

Our mission is to fight cancer by raising awareness and to educate about prevention and early cancer detection.  Our goal is to ultimately put an end to late stage cancer diagnosis. Through our Dyin 2 Live Dreams program, we look to enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them special VIP experiences that will bring them hope, inspiration, and courage.  We hope it can help give the cancer fighter a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day, what they are fighting. We hope it can be used as a source of inspiration to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.

No one fights alone.  Together we fight.  Fuck Cancer.

According to Cancer Australia (https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-types/melanoma/statistics), Melanoma of the skin was the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2018. It is estimated that it will become the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2022.  In 2018, there were 15,346 new cases of melanoma of the skin diagnosed in Australia (8,941 males and 6,403 females). In 2022, it is estimated that 17,756 new cases of melanoma of the skin will be diagnosed in Australia (10,374 males and 7,382 females). In 2022, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 17 (or 5.8%) risk of being diagnosed with melanoma of the skin by the age of 85 (1 in 14 or 6.9% for males and 1 in 21 or 4.7% for females).


From the research and education constantly given to us, why on earth do us Australians continue to venture outdoors without a hat, sunbake on the sand and, swim in the ocean without protection?



Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in Caucasian populations (Indo-Europeans) [1]; 80% of the total incidence is observed in the United States (US), Europe, Australia and New Zealand [2]. In the US only, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer were diagnosed in 2009 and approximately 12 000 people lost their lives in the same year [3]. There are 2 types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. While melanoma accounts for only 1% of cases of skin cancer [4], it is considered the main cause of mortality from the disease [3]. As for the non-melanoma type, Caucasians have the highest incidence compared with Asian and Hispanic races. However, it rarely occurs in black populations [5–7]. Monitoring the incidence of skin cancer has shown that there is an increasing trend in most countries in the world. Some examples are the Netherlands, where the incidence increased by 80% between 2000 and 2005 [8], and Brazil, where the incidence increased from 50 cases per 100 000 in 2000 to 94 per 100 000 in 2006 [9].

The important risk factors for skin cancer are high exposure to solar ultraviolet (for both melanoma and non-melanoma types) and racial susceptibility of Caucasians [3]. Decreasing latitude is associated with increased incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer [10]. For example in Queensland, Australia, the incidence is higher than in Europe and North America [2]. Although sunlight is an important risk factor, the development of skin cancer is mainly related to solar ultraviolet radiation [3,8,11], the dose of which are thought to be increasing as a result of thinning of the ozone layer of the atmosphere [12]. Among other risk factors are high alcohol consumption [13], diets high in fat and meat [14] and genetic predisposition [15].


Should we have warning images, same as on the back of cigarette packages?  I would love to see local government create mandatory laws, becoming proactive and erecting visual sign at all beaches, parks, and outdoor recreational facilities.  They could also supply free sunscreen at popular beach entrances.  We Australians (up North) get beach warnings about crocodiles, bluebottles, and sharks but there’s more people that die every year from skin cancer in Australia, than they do getting eaten by a crocodile or a shark, go figure?

We not only need to be good stewards of this land that we live on, but we have to be fully responsible to care for ourselves.









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