ROOF carpenter and melanoma sufferer Brad Gray (34) says everyone has the tools to protect against the sun.
“Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts, trousers and regular skins check are what you need,” Mr Gray said at the launch of the annual MelanomaWA-organised Melonoma Marches at the Cancer Wellness Centre, Cottesloe on Wednesday.
Last year, Mr Gray was diagnosed with third-stage metastatic melanoma with brain metastases.
He is now on treatment but has no current signs of the condition, but remembers the moment he was told he had skin cancer and how it changed his decisions about life, family and children.
“Pretty much the world fell out from underneath me,” he said.
Mr Gray wore preventative clothing and other measures while working outside in the building industry, and he said anyone who also had regular checks could avoid his experience of not getting an early warning of skin cancer.
The Melanoma Marches consist of charity walks that fund cancer prevention and raise awareness of sun safety in Bunbury, Mandurah and Perth.
“A major component of each event is that participants are offered free skin checks at the Lions Cancer Institute mobile skin screening facility onsite,” MelonomaWA founder Clinton Heal said.
In 2016, the 152 skin checks conducted during Melanoma Marches found 42 suspect lesions, including 20 that were life threatening.
“These statistics alone prove the value of the Melanoma March as an awareness, support and early detection event,” Mr Heal said.
Last year, the marches raised about $40,000 to support skin cancer sufferers and research into the disease.
A Cottesloe March will be held on the Cottesloe foreshore to Swanbourne and back to Cottesloe Groyne, after meeting at the Napier Street-Marine Parade intersection from 8am on April 2.