When Ryan Glossop’s “sun spot” was diagnosed as melanoma in 2018, little did he and his family know what they were facing.
The 37-year-old’s wife, Fallon, recently took to Facebook in a now viral post detailing the horrific experience in a bid to raise awareness around skin cancer, which affects two in three Australians.
“After 40 odd biopsies of his neck and back, 1 of his lung and 4 surgeries, what started out so small, turned into something that none of us were ready for,” she wrote, alongside before and after images of her husband’s back.”
With any skin cancer it’s standard to remove the affected area as well as the border around it, however Ryan’s situation was complicated by a skin condition called Nevus Spillus – a relatively common and mostly harmless kind of mole.
“It’s very rare for it to transition into melanoma, but in his case it did.”
This meant that even though the mole was removed, tests kept coming back abnormal. Ryan went through multiple surgeries, ultimately removing a large area of skin roughly 8cm wide and 40cm long from his neck and back.
“The strength that Ryan has had through this whole process amazes me, not only has he managed his pain considerably well but he has kept it together,” Fallon continued.
“This whole experience has been hugely challenging for all of us, but if anything good is to come out of this, it is that we now want to help raise more awareness of skin cancer.”
Melanoma kills more young Australians than any other single cancer, so it’s vitally important to get regular skin checks and keep an eye on changes in existing and new spots, freckles and moles.
The sooner a skin cancer is detected, the better your chance of less invasive and more effective treatment.