Channel Nine’s Peter Overton said he’s ‘battered and bruised’ but on the mend after undergoing emergency surgery on Monday.
The 64-year-old veteran TV journalist had melanoma removed after a dermatologist noticed a change in a mole under his hairline.
Speaking to Deborah Knight on 2GB radio, Peter explained how he had been covering the US election for hours over the weekend before his surgery.
“I'm a little battered and bruised and full of stitches, I look like a sewing machine. It’s been a hell of a week,” he said.
“It was pretty full on when the dermatologist said ‘I’m worried about this’.”
Peter said he’s very fair-skinned and over the years he’s had about 30 moles removed, making sure he goes to see his dermatologist every three months.
“I’m vigilant about my skin because I'm so fair and in that three month period the dermatologist just noticed a mole under my hairline, he’d noticed a change. He took a scraping, it came back as melanoma and it was on,” Peter said.
The dermatologist ‘didn’t muck around’, referring him straight to a plastic surgeon, with Peter going in very early Monday morning for surgery.
He went on to say that they had to cut off a huge section of skin to make sure the melanoma hadn't spread, which he called the ‘most confronting thing’.
“When Jessica cut off all the bandages yesterday afternoon, it was quite a shock to see the extent of the stitching and the flaps of skin they had to put over,” he said.
While he’s currently waiting for the pathology to come back, Peter said the surgery has left him looking like he’s been punched, ‘been glassed and stitched back together’.
“I’m hoping I might be back next Sunday night, bit of makeup, you know the wizards in the makeup department at Channel Nine,” Peter said to Deb.
On Tuesday, Peter took to his Twitter account to upload an image of him lying in his hospital bed, with his head covered in bandages.
“I have fair skin & am vigilant re my skin checks every few months. My wonderful dermatologist spotted something unusual on my right temple-Melanoma. Surgery yesterday to remove it. I am a lucky fella. For those thinking about getting their skin checked. Do it. Now,” he wrote.
Peter told Deborah Knight he decided to post the picture in an effort to urge others to get their skin checked.
“The reaction has been extraordinary. So many people have said ‘I have now booked in’, not ‘I’m going to book’,” he said.
“We’re so busy in our lives and we say ‘we’ll do that next week’. It is important. In that three month period things had changed for me so I think that’s instructive on how important it is.”
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