Newsreader praises dermatologist for detecting scalp melanoma

12 Nov 2020

Nine News newsreader Peter Overton has praised his dermatologist for picking up a melanoma during a routine checkup.

In a social media post, the Sydney-based newsreader said his dermatologist had become suspicious about changes in a mole on his right temple under his hairline.

Overton said he had always been vigilant about having skin checks with his dermatologist every three months, who said he was worried about a skin lesion on the most recent visit and took a sample for investigation.

The presenter said he had been ‘full on’ covering the US election and it had comes as surprise to have to step down and have surgery after his dermatologist said the tests showed it was a melanoma.

“He didn’t muck around. He sent me off to the plastic surgeon and I had it removed on Monday.”

But he said he was not expecting the wide margin of the surgery to remove the melanoma.

“When Jessica (Rowe, his wife) cut off all the bandages yesterday … it was quite a shock to see the extent of the stitching and the flaps of skin they had to put over,” he said.

The post got positive feedback from many high profile people in the media as well as other patients who had melanomas removed or treated. The responses also included thanks from the Melanoma Institute of Australia for raising awareness of the importance of regular surveillance for early detection of melanoma.

Overton said he was gratified to see that his social media post has encouraged many people to start having skin checks.

“The reaction has been extraordinary. So many have said to me – ‘I’m now booked in’ – and that’s the critical thing. We’re so busy in our lives and we always say I’ll do that next week. But it is important because in that three month period things changed for me for me. And that’s instructive on how important it is.”

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