Outpouring of support for Rankin MP Jim Chalmers after melanoma diagnosis

CANCER RISK: Rankin MP Kim Chalmers will have a minor surgery on Thursday after being diagnosed with melanoma.
CANCER RISK: Rankin MP Kim Chalmers will have a minor surgery on Thursday after being diagnosed with melanoma.

RESIDENTS have shared their own cancer stories and messages of hope after Rankin MP Jim Chalmers revealed his skin cancer diagnosis yesterday.

The shadow treasurer took to social media on Tuesday and urged people to get regular skin checks.

"Last week I became one of the 16,000 Australians diagnosed with skin cancer this year," he said.

"I'd mentioned to my doctor in passing that a darker than usual mole had appeared on my chest.

"Subsequent tests showed it was a melanoma."

Mr Chalmers said he would undergo minor surgery on Thursday and was hoping for a speedy recovery.

Speaking on Sky News, he urged people to get regular skin checks and get tested as soon as possible if they noticed anything unusual.

He said he had noticed the mole months ago, but had only made brief mention of it to his doctor a fortnight ago.

"Those (actions) are mistakes," he said.

"If you spot something that looks a bit unusual, get it checked out."

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network wished Mr Chalmers the best for his recovery and thanked him for raising awareness of the importance of skin checks.

"This is Australia's national cancer and early detection is crucial," MSCAN wrote on Facebook.

Other well-wishers shared their own cancer journeys and stressed the importance of catching melanoma early.

It comes after Mr Chalmers' parliamentary colleague Jason Clare received 52 stitches after a cancerous mole was cut out of his leg in 2019.

Melanoma a big threat in Queensland

According to the Cancer Council, Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of melanoma in the world, and more than 3600 people are diagnosed with melanoma every year in Queensland alone.

Factors increasing melanoma risk include unprotected exposure to the sun, strong family history of melanoma and a history of childhood tanning and sunburn.

Melanoma can vary greatly in its appearance, but the first sign is often a new mole or change in an existing one.