Melanoma diagnosis for Australian Survivor contestant stark warning about the risks of sun exposure
News reports today of a recently evicted Australian Survivor star being diagnosed with melanoma should serve as a stark warning to all Australians of the serious health risks posed by sun exposure.
50-year-old contestant Jacqui Patterson was only eliminated from the show in Monday night’s program – news reports have now surfaced that on returning home from Samoa she was diagnosed with melanoma.
CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia, Carole Renouf, says she is saddened by the news.
“Unfortunately, this is the sad reality for some 14,000 Australians who are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year,” Ms Renouf said. “A melanoma diagnosis not only impacts the patient, but also their wider family and friends as they embark on what can only be described as a battle to beat this insidious disease.
“As the world’s largest medical research institute with a sole focus on tackling melanoma, we are acutely aware of the challenges ahead for this Australian Survivor star, and our thoughts are with Jacqui and her family,” she said.
One Australian dies from melanoma every five hours and it is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year-old Australians. Sun exposure leading to sunburn, particularly prior to puberty, is known to increase a person’s risk of developing potentially deadly melanoma later in life.
Only three weeks ago, Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Carole Renouf publicly called out television executives after noticing Australian Survivor contestants who were blatantly sunburnt.
The statement issued on 31 July read in part:
“Melanoma is not a game, and its greatest risk factor - sunburn - has no place on a reality TV game show. It makes me frustrated. It makes me angry. But mostly it makes me sad. While we at Melanoma Institute Australia are trialling new melanoma treatments to save lives, and educating the community about the need to protect themselves from the sun, shows like Australian Survivor are doing the exact opposite during prime-time viewing.”
Whilst there is no suggestion that sun exposure during her time on Australian Survivor contributed to the contestant’s melanoma diagnosis, the challenge issued to all television executives on 31 July is perhaps now even more pertinent.
“Let's outlaw sunburn on reality TV shows, and treat it like the potential killer it is, just like smoking and drink driving. By forging an alliance, we can outwit, outplay and outlast melanoma. Only then will our children and grandchildren be the ultimate survivors,” Ms Renouf said.
Media contact: Jennifer Durante M: 0412 798 990 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘We are extremely proud of our ongoing contribution to the global effort to save lives from melanoma, with Dr Silva’s prestigious award proof that we continue to lead the way,'
“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."
MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.
We know what Melanoma March means to our community, so when we had to cancel our physical events, we created Melanoma March Virtual so that everyone across Australia could still connect to honour loved ones and support each other.
A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
Brisbane couple Leon and Tamra Betts were, like thousands of others around Australia, on the couch watching MAFS when newlywed Natasha ran through her weekly beauty routine. When they heard the 26-year-old mention solarium use, they were shocked, and then saddened, prompting this open letter to all young Australians.
Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.