Veteran newsreader Peter Overton has revealed the gruesome scar on his temple after he had life saving surgery to remove a melanoma skin cancer from his face.
The 54-year-old went under the knife on Monday morning to remove the cancerous cells and spent a week in recovery before returning to Nine News for the 6pm bulletin on Sunday.
The veteran reporter showed off the large scar on his right temple from the operation during the Nine News Late bulletin.
‘The mole was on my right temple, just under the hairline. The incision taking out a margin of flesh around the melanoma in case cancerous spores may have spread,’ Overton said.
‘This is where it is as you can see, it is healing very well.’
The 54-year-old showed off the scar on his face (pictured) during Nine News on Sunday
Overton hopes his plight will inspire others and urged all Australians to get their skin checked for cancerous spots before it’s too late.
‘I’m indeed one of the lucky ones. My pathology was all-clear. That can be out come for almost everyone if a melanoma is discovered early enough,’ he said.
Overton spoke on 2GB radio on Wednesday afternoon to provide an update on his recovery.
‘I’m a little battered and bruised and full of stitches,’ Overton said.
‘I look like a sewing machine but I had the fine hand of a fine surgeon to put me back together. It’s been a hell of a week.’
Overton had just finished a marathon broadcast of the US election before his operation.
Newsreader Peter Overton had surgery on a melanoma on his temple (pictured) on Monday
Mr Overton (pictured) hopes his plight will inspire Australians to get regular skin checks
The procedure wasn’t his first, revealing he gets his skin checked every three months because of his fair complexion.
‘I’ve had probably 30 moles cut out of me,’ he said.
Overton said his dermatologist spotted the mole under his hair line and took a test scraping, which turned out to be cancerous.
‘It was on. We didn’t much around,’ Overton said.
He said the most confronting part of the operation was discovering the huge size of skin doctors cut out in order to remove the cells.
‘When Jessica (Rowe, Overton’s wife) cut off all the bandages yesterday when I was allowed to remove all that headwear, it was quite a shock to see the extent of the stitching and the flaps of skin they had to put over,’ he said.
‘It looks like someone’s punched me. It looks like I’ve been glassed and stitched back together.’
Melanoma is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and Overton hoped his plight would inspire Australians to commit to having regular skin checks to spot any dangerous cells before it’s too late.
Mr Overton posted a heavily bandaged selfie on Twitter after his operation on Monday
‘We’re so busy in our lives and we say ‘we’ll do that next week’ so it is important,’ Overton said.
‘In that three month period things changed for me.’
It’s not the first cancer scare for the news presenter, who felt run-down and noticed strange lumps all over his body in September 2017.
After meeting with his doctor, Overton was warned he could have lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
He described having sleepless nights as he anxiously waited to hear the results while his wife Jessica was ‘sick to her stomach’.
After several painful days, he was given the news he was desperately hoping for: it wasn’t cancer.
His mystery illness was instead chalked up to a ‘vicious virus’ which gave the news presenter a terrible scare.
Mr Overton (pictured with his wife Jessica Rowe and children) described himself as being ‘battered and bruised’ in recovery from the operation
Overton has been reading the 6pm nightly news since 2009 having previously spent eight years as a reporter for 60 Minutes.
Melanoma forms when the pigment-producing cells that give colour to people’s skin becomes cancerous.
While it is less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, it is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.
Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world and it is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39-year-old Aussies.
Last year, 1,415 people died from the cancer.
What are some warning signs for melanomas?
The first five letters of the alphabet are a guide to help you recognise the warning signs of melanoma.
A is for Asymmetry. Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a round to oval and symmetrical common mole.
B is for Border. Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders.
C is for Colour. Multiple colours are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colours red, white or blue may also appear.
D is for Diameter or Dark. While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it’s a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm, or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger. Some experts say it is also important to look for any lesion, no matter what size, that is darker than others. Rare, amelanotic melanomas are colourless.
E is for Evolving. Any change in size, shape, colour or elevation of a spot on your skin, or any new symptom in it, such as bleeding, itching or crusting, may be a warning sign of melanoma.