Australian swimmer Mack Horton's gold medal during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was overshadowed by the exploits of Michael Phelps, but one viewer was watching Horton very closely.
An unidentified fan noticed that Horton had a suspicious mole on his chest, and made the 20-year-old swimmer aware of his concern, reports the Daily Mail.
The sharp-eyed fan had noticed that the mole on Horton's chest had grown bigger and darker over the past few years by comparing photographs of the swimmer at different competitions.
In a message on social media, Horton wrote: “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.”
Apparently, the mole concerned Horton’s doctors, too, because he underwent surgery in Melbourne to have it removed. On Oct. 14, he posted a picture of himself with a large bandage on his chest, giving a “thumb’s up” sign.
The Mayo Clinic defines skin cancer as “the abnormal growth of skin cells” which “most often develops on skin exposed to the sun,” but “can also occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.”
The website gives tips on avoiding this form of cancer: “You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.”
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, notes the Daily Mail. About 2,000 Australians die annually from skin cancer, and statistics project that approximately 66 percent of that country’s population will be diagnosed with the disease by the time they are 70.