Julie saved from cancer operation wait

By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au

JULIE Izzeard's worst fears about skin cancer were well placed.

So too was her lack of faith in the public health system. Luckily neither cost her her life.

The Observer reported on June 15 that Julie was facing a 14-year wait in the public health system to have a skin lesion near her eye removed.

At the time she feared the lesion was cancerous and potentially life threatening. Her instincts proved right.

Gladstone Central Medical Centre performed the operation at a reduced cost when they read about Julie's situation. Tests after the operation showed the lesion was malignant.

Her doctor, Stephen Rigby, confirmed that had such a malignancy been left untreated for 14 years, Julie could have faced serious health problems and possibly even died.

'It would have led to substantial damage and deformity,' Dr Rigby said.

Julie still cannot believe the lengths she went to to get treatment.

'I'm still upset and angry about it,' she said.

'I should be able to have it done through the public system.'

The clinic said they saw many people in Julie's situation. However Dr Rigby was still shocked to hear that Julie had to wait for treatment.

Despite his diagnosis of other skin cancers, Julie was over the moon to have the most recent one removed.

'I sort of expected it to be malignant,' Julie said.

'I was just glad that it was done, that I wasn't sitting around waiting.'

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