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The ad above is produced by the Cancer Institute NSW and tells the true story of a 26 year old young man who died of melanoma in March 2010. Wes was just like any other "normal young guy" and loved being active outdoors. He covered up the best as he could and never went to the beach intending to get a tan.
"Wes was a gentle and private person, mindful of taking care of himself," his parents said." He spent lots of time outside but he was always mindful to protect himself from the sun and wore hats, sunscreen and the appropriate clothing."
When Wes was 23 years old, he was diagnosed with melanoma of 1.4mm (0.05 inch) on his neck. Even though the melanoma was cut out, it had already spread to Wes' bloodstream and eventually, it spread to his brain. "I just thought, you know, you get it cut out, you'll be fine," said Wes' brother. "You see that many ad campaigns about skin cancer and melanoma, you sort of take notice, and you just think it's never gonna happen to you."
Wes' story closely reflects that melanoma is the most common cancer in 18 to 39 year olds. In all age groups, twice as many men men as women die of the disease.
Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and it is a particular problem for men. According to the Cancer Council Australia, more than twice as many men than women die from skin cancer (1297 compared with 600 women in 2010-11). Young men are more likely to think their risk of skin cancer is low.
We here at SunBuddy, thank Wes Bonny's parents and brothers for sharing their story to help save others from the same fate.