Olympic Superstar Mack Horton Had No Idea He Needed a Mole Removed Until a Fan Pointed It Out | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Olympic Superstar Mack Horton Had No Idea He Needed a Mole Removed Until a Fan Pointed It Out

Sometimes it pays to have astute stalkers. Just ask Australian Olympic swimmer Mack Horton, who didn’t realise the mole on his chest was potentially cancerous until an anonymous fan spotted it in a photo and pointed it out. 


Horton, who won gold in the 400-meter freestyle competition at the Rio Olympics in August, took to Instagram on Thursday to give props to the fan.


“Shout out to the person that emailed the swim team doctor and told me to get my mole checked out,” Horton wrote. “Good call. Very good call.” 

Horton didn’t confirm or deny that the mole was malignant, but the bandages in his Instagram photo indicate that it was surgically removed – a telling sign that something wasn’t right.

He was smart to take action. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia, and melanoma – which often looks like moles or develops from moles – is the deadliest skin cancer.

If you’ve had more than five sunburns by age 20, your melanoma risk skyrockets by 80 per cent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. 

That risk is all the more reason to keep up with your annual skin screening. But it’s also smart to be able to spot warning signs on your own. Here are tips to help you identify trouble: 

  • Use the ABCDE trick. If your mole is Asymmetrical, has irregular Borders, contains more than one Color, has a Diameter bigger than the size of a pencil eraser, or Evolves and changes over time, schedule an appointment, stat.  
  • You stop growing new moles after your mid 30s. If you see a fresh spot after that, point it out to your doctor. 
  • If a mole starts to itch, bleed, or hurt, that’s a big red flag.Healthy moles shouldn’t cause you any pain.
  • Pay particular attention to color. Red, translucent, pearly, or black spots warrant a closer look by your doctor.  

More From