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Roughead out indefinitely with skin cancer return

Cam Inglis, Staff reporter

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AFL star Jarryd Roughead will be out from football indefinitely after suffering a recurrence of melanoma.

The Hawthorn forward had the skin cancer removed from his lip last year and was sidelined for two games.

The 29-year-old attended a check-up on Monday where it was revealed the cancer had returned.

Chris Fagan, Hawthorn’s General Manager of Football Operations, said a full body scan had uncovered the issue.

“That has been part of the process since he had the initial melanoma,’’ Mr Fagan said.

“He has [regular] full body scans and he has had one previously and everything was clear [but] this time around there are a few spots of cancer to be seen on the scans.

“Obviously, that means there has to be a medical intervention going forward.

“The next steps are that he has to have an operation or biopsy to confirm it is cancer, and if that is confirmed he has to go through a series of treatments over … the next three or four months.”

Clinton Heal, CEO of MelanomaWA, says the cancer’s unpredictable nature is part of the reason it’s so dangerous.

“Melanoma can be quite unpredictable in how it behaves and this is why people have to have routine scans. People need to have routine scans for a number of years because you might have a clear scan and then something might show up,” Mr Heal said.

Melanoma is the most common cancer in 15–39 year olds; however, Mr Heal says prevention can lower the risk.

“We are urging people to do two things. First, look at prevention and second to get their skin checked.”

Clinton Heal hopes that people might see the effect of melanoma on Jarryd Roughead’s life and go and get themselves checked.

“We might find things that we wouldn’t have otherwise, and that’s a positive out of what is a really sad story,” said Mr Heal.

Roughead was just weeks away from returning to the Hawthorn lineup after being sidelined all season after a knee reconstruction.

The AFL community has gotten behind Roughead, sending messages of support on social media.

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Melanoma is one of the most serious and life threatening forms of skin cancer and Australia still has the highest rate of melanoma in the world.

To find out more information on melanoma visit: http://melanomawa.org.au/

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Roughead out indefinitely with skin cancer return