Big guns for skin cancer

Karen Ong with her book The Number 1 Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer.
Karen Ong with her book The Number 1 Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer.

AFL Geelong champion Tim ‘Bluey’ McGrath has joined forces with Kallaroo author and registered nurse Karen Ong to reverse the rates of skin cancer in Australia.

Following the death of her brother from melanoma nine years ago, Ms Ong wrote The Number 1 Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer.

“My brother loved being outside; he was a scaffolder and truck driver and spent much of his work and leisure time outdoors,” she said.

“As far as he was concerned, it was just a little skin cancer on his right temple and he didn’t appreciate people telling him what to do.

“As a skin cancer screening expert, I’ve seen thousands of people, particularly men, suffer from the disease.

“I realised there was a real need to address the myths and misinformation that continue to drive up the incidence of skin cancer in Australia.”

After Ms Ong had written the book, she said she wanted to involve high-profile community members to send the message to Australian men.

“Tim McGrath was an ambassador for melanoma prevention and had personal experience with melanoma himself, so I thought, ‘Here is an amazing man who has achieved so much in his life and he’s a real man’s man who’s relatable to other men’,” she said.

McGrath, who was diagnosed with a stage-3 melanoma in 2013, said he wrote the foreword for the book in the hope it would make men aware of how important it was to respect themselves and the harsh Australian environment.

To buy the book, go to www.thenumber1guidetopreventingskincancer.com.

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