"It's a matter of life and death": Chris' melanoma story

Australian dad and melanoma survivor Chris Hills is warning parents to schedule their regular skin cancer check after he was told that he is lucky to be alive.

Chris Hills was diagnosed with stage II melanoma after going for a skin cancer check with what he thought was an irritated rash he had picked up during his typical day in the garden.

“I was watching the cricket with a friend one day when he noticed an irritation on my arm and recommended I get it checked out,” Chris said. “I didn’t think it was going to be anything, I thought I might get some cream and that would fix it. I had a one-year-old with me at the time; it was a total shock.  

“While I was having the melanoma removed, the surgeon actually said, 'you’re a very lucky man, if you left this six months you may not be here today.' My first thoughts were ‘not me, what about everyone else?’. I couldn’t think of a life for my kids without me being here. 

“I’ve always been someone that didn’t think I needed to have a skin check, and now, from my perspective, it’s a matter of life and death.”  

Every minute an Australian is diagnosed with skin cancer. An annual skin check is incredibly important for early detection of deadly skin cancers — and winter is the ideal time to get this potentially life-saving skin exam.

As the days get cooler and your summer tan fades, the potential signs of skin cancer become much easier for doctors to identify. In addition to shorter wait times, this makes winter the perfect time to get your skin checked with a qualified doctor.

This year nearly 10,000 skin cancers have been treated across Australia at National Skin Cancer Centres.

Chris' melanoma story