Sun damage effects last a lifetime
As National Skin Cancer Action Week approaches, one Mandurah resident would like to share his story and remind everyone to wear a hat and stay out of the sun.
Eighty-two-year-old Bob Nener has now survived a number of operations to remove two melanomas from his face, and said after spending years in the sun with absolutely no protection he has now suffered a long battle with skin cancer.
“We had no idea of the dangers of the sun growing up,” he said.
“I spent my childhood riding my pushbike from East Victoria Park to the beach where I met with friends and we would sunbake and swim for hours.
“My skin would peel and then go brown as we worked on our tans and it was a constant cycle.”
Mr Nener and his wife Sylvia have lived in Greenfields for 10 years and now travel every three months to visit a skin specialist in Perth.
“I spent 40 years removing over 500 basal cell cancers, and last year I had four operations to remove the first melanoma beneath my eye,” he said.
“A year later a lump appeared under my chin and it took a nine hour procedure to remove, and included taking out 29 lymph nodes from around my cheek right down through my shoulder.
“I also had to have one month of radiation at Royal Perth Hospital to ensure I was clear.”
According to the Cancer Coun- cil, two in three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, and more than 2000 people die from skin cancer each year.
National Skin Cancer Action Week runs from November 15-21, and is a reminder for people to slip, slop and slap.
“This has been very hard on my family and difficult for them to watch,” he said.
“The Cancer Council have been an amazing support. They have recommended specialists, and organised rehabilitation and therapy, and I am feeling much better thanks to their efforts.”
Eighty-two-year-old Bob Nener, pictured with wife Sylvia, is still suffering, after a life in the sun without protection led to the removal of two melanomas.