Home Australia I was living the dream when I was 20 when my sister noticed a small freckle on my shoulder blade; Then they gave me devastating news.

I was living the dream when I was 20 when my sister noticed a small freckle on my shoulder blade; Then they gave me devastating news.

0 comment
Teisha Ward, from Melbourne, was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 20.

A young sun-lover who was diagnosed with skin cancer aged just 20 admits she was “naïve” about how deadly the harsh Australian sun can be.

Teisha Ward, from Melbourne, loved sunbathing and tanning on the beach or by the pool, but she was unaware of the irreversible damage she was causing.

Speaking to FEMAIL, the executive assistant, now 25, said she was too “indifferent” after being diagnosed with stage three melanoma skin cancer and was sure doctors could simply “take it away”.

‘My older sister, Georgia, noticed that I had a small dark freckle on my back that had risen above the skin. “She was itchy and bleeding when I scratched and she encouraged me to get it checked,” Teisha said.

The life-changing diagnosis came four years after Teisha broke her back in a horrific motorcycle accident in which she needed to learn to walk again.

Teisha Ward, from Melbourne, was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 20.

Recalling the day she saw her GP about her freckle, Teisha said: “I went to the doctor’s appointment pretty unconcerned about the whole situation. As soon as they saw it, they said, “Yes, we’re 99 percent sure it’s melanoma.”

“But even after hearing those words I didn’t realize how serious it was.”

After the date, he got back in the car with his father and sister and told them the news.

Her father instantly became very worried and stopped the car, turned around and returned to the clinic with Teisha to find out more.

He asked the doctors for more details and was informed that the freckle needed to be removed immediately.

The sinister spot was removed two days later and the cells were biopsied, then Teisha was referred to an oncologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. That’s when she realized it.

The freckle can be seen on her shoulder blade. It was small but had risen above the skin and bled when he scratched it.

The freckle can be seen on her shoulder blade. It was small but had risen above the skin and bled when he scratched it.

Her older sister, Georgia (right), noticed a small freckle on her back that had raised, felt itchy, and bled when she scratched it. Georgia urged Teisha to go to the doctor

Her older sister, Georgia (right), noticed a small freckle on her back that had raised, felt itchy, and bled when she scratched it. Georgia urged Teisha to go to the doctor

‘It’s been a long journey for my health, so dad was worried about me. “We basically lived at the Royal Price Alfred, so going back there brought back bad memories,” he said.

The biopsy results showed that the cancer had already moved under the skin, so Teisha required an operation to remove more of the surrounding area.

“When I was diagnosed it was shocking, but it hurt more for my parents – it was very difficult to see what it did to them emotionally and mentally,” Teisha said.

“Considering I was in a motorcycle accident four years earlier, I couldn’t believe we were going to need to spend more time in the hospital because of the cancer.”

Doctors also had to perform a “lymph node test” which involved inserting dye into Teisha’s body to highlight any other cancer cells.

The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes under the arms and 11 lymph nodes in total were removed.

“That was probably the hardest surgery I had because I couldn’t put my arms down and I sat with my arms up for a week,” he explained.

The biopsy results showed that the cancer had already moved under the skin, so Teisha required an operation to remove more of the surrounding area. The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in her armpits and 11 of her armpits were removed.

The biopsy results showed that the cancer had already moved under the skin, so Teisha required an operation to remove more of the surrounding area. The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in her armpits and 11 of her armpits were removed.

While undergoing treatment, she lost some of her hair, felt extremely weak, had no appetite, and her skin was very dry. At the time she was working in real estate but she couldn't continue and she began dating her boyfriend, AFL player Dylan Clarke.

While undergoing treatment, she lost some of her hair, felt extremely weak, had no appetite, and her skin was very dry. At the time she was working in real estate but she couldn’t continue and she began dating her boyfriend, AFL player Dylan Clarke.

Shortly after surgery, Teisha began oral chemotherapy and doctors were confident it would work to fight the cancer.

While undergoing treatment, she lost some of her hair, felt extremely weak, had no appetite, and her skin was very dry. At the time she was working in real estate but she couldn’t continue and she started dating her boyfriend Dylan Clarke.

His chemotherapy continued for 18 months and was successful. Teisha now undergoes regular checkups to make sure the cancer has not returned.

The hardest part of this whole ordeal wasn’t the cancer itself, but watching his loved ones suffer supporting him.

“My partner Dylan has been my rock all the time and helped me through everything,” he said.

‘To this day my family struggles with worrying about the unknown and whether he will return. For now it’s a waiting game.”

1719047993 707 I was living the dream when I was 20 when

Chemotherapy continued for 18 months and was successful. Teisha now undergoes regular checkups to make sure the cancer has not returned.

What are the different types of skin cancer?

There are three main types of skin cancer: melanoma (including nodular melanoma), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Melanoma: It is the deadliest form of skin cancer and, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. It appears as a new spot or an existing spot that changes color, size, or shape.

Basal cell carcinoma: Most common and least dangerous form of skin cancer. Red, pale or pearly in color, it appears as a dry, scaly lump or area. It grows slowly, usually in areas that are usually exposed to the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma: A thick, scaly, red spot that may bleed easily, crust over, or ulcerate. It grows for a few months, usually in areas frequently exposed to the sun. It is more likely to occur in people over 50 years of age.

‘I feel like this has definitely made me a better, stronger and more empathetic person. “It just shows that you have no idea what people are going through,” she said.

“If you looked at me when I was sick, you wouldn’t necessarily think I had cancer, but I did.”

Teisha said she has also been given a “well-rounded outlook on life” and now wears sunscreen daily.

He also blamed the school system for the lack of education in Australia on how to protect yourself from the sun and the consequences that can arise if you don’t.

The experience inspired Teisha and Georgia to launch a GT Skin self-tanning brand in 2021 to encourage other Australians to be aware of the deadly sun.

“Don’t tan in the sun, it’s not worth it,” Teisha warned.

‘When I was a kid, being tan was cool and attractive. I think there’s also a huge lack of education about sun safety, which is why we started GT Skin.’

The brand currently offers face tanners, body tanners, and hats, but plans to expand into sun protection products.

You may also like