Two melanomas diagnosed in just two weeks
It is not often that in the space of just two weeks, two almost identical patients present to the doctor for a routine skin examination end up having the same diagnosis, and the events that follow freakishly saves both their lives.
Independently, Peter Parker (age 45) and Brian Scarce (age 48) each decided to have a skin examination at the Gladstone Medical Centre.
Mr Scarce was diagnosed with a large melanoma behind his knee, and also an invasive basal cell carcinoma on his shoulder.
After his initial shock, he underwent surgery to remove the two growths, but of which were then found to be malignant.
Mr Parker went to the centre a week later for a routine skin examination.
The diagnosis of a melanoma on his neck and an invasive basal cell carcinoma on his shoulder was also discovered. He also required surgery.
Fortunately for the pair, both melanomas are level I and level II and are early, so the prognosis is excellent for long term survival, according to Dr Stephen Rigby.
"The almost exact diagnosis of the two unrelated cases within a week of each other is freakish, but only demonstrates the importance of regular screening and early diagnosis," said Dr Rigby.
"Both the patients are lucky and their prognosis is excellent.
"I hope the bizarre coincidence of these cases encourages the public have regular screening for early detection.
"It is paramount that the general population realize that the survival from melanoma is still early detection, diagnosis and removal of the malignency with a wide margin excision."