9News PerthToday Show reporter and 6PR radio host, Michael Genovese, has accepted the role of WA’s ambassador for National Skin Cancer Action Week (NSCAW) 2020, to urge all people, and especially parents of young children, to use sun protection whenever the UV is 3 or above.
Mr Genovese, now 32, said he hoped by sharing his story, people would check their skin and if something doesn’t look right see a doctor.
“I am thrilled to take on the role as ambassador with Cancer Council WA for National Skin Cancer Action Week, as I was the exact guy this campaign targets,” Michael said.
“For years I would happily burn while playing footy or at the beach. I never wore sunscreen for no other reason than it was a bit inconvenient. I should have known better, but I thought I was invincible. It never occurred to me that I was doing irreversible damage to my skin.”
Michael was just 26 years old when he had his first skin cancer removed.
“A colleague of mine came to work one day with a bandage over his nose. He had been diagnosed with skin cancer after a speck of blood on his nose kept returning,” he said. “This prompted me to get a red spot, like a pimple, on my forehead checked as it just wouldn’t go away. I was shocked when they said it was basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
“Since having that first BCC removed I have had a second one removed on my right cheek and just had a biopsy on my right temple.
“I am now 32 and dermatologists are telling me that I’ve got a lot of sun damaged skin and to expect more BCC’s as I age. The thought leaves me both anxious and disappointed.”
Michael said he now gets checked twice a year by his dermatologist, wears SPF 50+ sunscreen daily and a hat to stop further damage. “I’m proof that we should all make a habit of using sun protection during daily activities,” Michael said.
“If you don’t want to end up like me, getting your face sliced open, do yourself a favour and use sun protection.”