Australian Olympic champion Mack Horton has had a lucky escape after an eagle-eyed fan spotted a mole on his chest that had changed in colour and grown over the past few years.
Mack has revealed that the fan, who is remaining anonymous, emailed his swim team doctor and told him to get the mole checked after they noticed the change when looking through photos and videos of the swimmer.
It turns out the mole was potentially cancerous and Mack had to have surgery to remove it! He posted a photo of his bandage on social media with a message, saying: “Shout out to the person that emailed the swim team doctor and told me to get my mole checked out. Good call. Very good call.”
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and with Mack spending so much time out in the sun for his training, it’s no wonder his doctor sent him straight to the specialist.
If left untreated, skin cancer can quickly spread to other parts of the body, which is why it’s so important to to be checked regularly.
The Cancer Council says everyone should keep a close eye on any moles they have and look out for any changes in shape or colour over time.
Around 66 per cent of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with around 2,000 Australians die each year from skin cancer.
Mack said he’s grateful to the fan for speaking up when they did. Since winning his gold medal at the Rio Olympics, Mack has been taking time off and travelling with his girlfriend heading back to uni to study business.
No doubt he’s thanking his lucky stars he caught this potentially life-threatening problem just in time!