Bearded brothers’ skin cancer call

Skin cancer doctor Brian D'Souza (centre) with Scott Earley, Tim Felton, Cleal Harvey and Angelino Schintu. Picture: Martin Kennealey           d441168
Skin cancer doctor Brian D'Souza (centre) with Scott Earley, Tim Felton, Cleal Harvey and Angelino Schintu. Picture: Martin Kennealey         d441168

The dapper group sporting lengths of facial hair came together this month to encourage men to get skin cancer checks and to raise awareness about sun protection, even in winter.

Mr Schintu, the man behind the beard and the event, reached out for advocates on social media.

�I wanted to get something going and I wanted to find out if there were any other bearded brothers out there who would be interested in highlighting today�s cause and I got such a huge response,� he said.

The Carramar resident had no choice but to take skin checks seriously after having a kidney transplant nine years ago. �You have to take medication to protect the kidney and that means you have to suppress the immune system. Doing that makes you more susceptible to skin cancers, so I�m more aware of having to have skin checks.�

Mr Schintu is now putting the hard word on �fellas� not to put off health concerns, especially when it comes to skin cancer, which is more prominent in men.

�Blokes really put things off to the last minute. . . and it�s their partners or mothers that end up pushing them to go,� he said.

Beard Face�s Tim Felton and Scott Earley said combining their love of beards with promoting skin cancer awareness was an offer they couldn�t refuse.

�I have a niece who�s been diagnosed with melanoma at the age of two. I�m doing a fundraising ride later on this year, so when I saw the post, I thought, yeah I�d love to be involved,� Mr Felton said.

Skin cancer and cosmetic physician Brian D�Souza recommended people perform skin checks at home and to see a doctor if they noticed any changes, and for higher-risk patients and those over 40 to visit a skin clinic once a year.

�Men tend to get more skin cancers than women because they tend to work outside more and when they present, they tend to present later, so as a combination, death rate for men is twice that of women,� he said.

n For more, visit cancerwa.asn.au or call the Cancer Council helpline 13 11 20.