Dennington's Neville Dance has issued a health warning to others after what he and others initially dismissed as a wart on his arm turned out to be stage five melanoma.
While his motto has always been "if in doubt, get it out", Mr Dance said on this occasion he didn't act as soon as he probably should have.
"I had a little growth, like a wart, just above the elbow. It had been there for 12 or 18 months I suppose and I just thought it was a wart," he said.
"I bumped it and it started to bleed and my wife said 'I don't like the look of that'.
"It didn't look anything like a melanoma to me."
Mr Dance, 69, spoke to his doctor about it in late October, but he said even she didn't think it looked like any melanoma she had seen.
They decided to remove it anyway, and about a week later he got the call to say it tested as a melanoma.
"She was actually shocked about it," Mr Dance said.
The call actually came on the day he got out of hospital after an accident that week left him with a broken hip and fractured left arm near where the growth had been removed.
Mr Dance had tripped over a roll of carpet that was lying on the ground, but the injuries combined with the further surgery needed for the melanoma made his recovery longer.
It's been a bit of rude awakening...It didn't look anything like a melanoma to me.- Neville Dance
He was referred to the plastic surgeon where he was told there were five grades of melanoma, and his was "up there with the worst".
Mr Dance went into hospital again for further tests and exploratory surgery in mid-November to see which lymph nodes might have been affected.
"When I woke up after the operation I had a scar in my left arm above my elbow about 100 millimetres long where they took the melanoma out with more clearance," he said.
"This started off the size of my little fingernail and ended up with a scar in my arm about 100mm long, and one in my arm about 75mm where they took out several lymph nodes."
Tests showed that Mr Dance is now in the clear and doesn't need further treatment.
"All it means now is instead of getting a body check every six months, I've now got to get one every three months," he said.
"It's been a bit of a rude awakening.
"I've had various other bits and pieces cut off me over the years and none of it's turned positive - this was the first one.
"I'm very cautious now about making sure I'm wearing a hat and all the rest of it."
Mr Dance has worked in the building trade his whole life, and has always been an outdoors person who enjoyed boating and fishing, which he said all added up to spending a lot of time in the sun.
"I'm starting to subscribe to a theory of mine that I've always had, 'if in doubt get it out'," he said.
"But I haven't always managed to carry out that philosophy.
"I sure as hell going forward, if something turns up that looks like it's the slightest bit abnormal, I'll be getting something done with it."
Having more surgery on his arm after having his hip done hampered his recovery because it meant he could only go to physio but not hydro therapy because of the open wound.
"That just complicated my rehabilitation for my hip. I'm only just starting to walk now without crutches," Mr Dance said.
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