Richie Benaud had skin cancer, and you might too


His Greg Chappell scolding stands the test of time.


It’s jarring when you see those crowd shots on tv at the cricket or tennis or the beach with people sitting fully exposed to the sun with no cover at all. Given all the discussion about this people today should be a lot better informed to be careful.


We used to use Reef Oil as kids. In fact, there was a guy who charged $2 to spray you with some sort of tanning oil at Scarborough Beach in the 80’s.

He’s dead now, probably from gene mutation but it was a terrific service.


Mmm. Yep. Tanning oil.


Melanoma took my sister when she was 17. That was in 1980, before “slip slop slap” and all the other awareness we have thesedays.
She was an ivory skinned redhead, and back in those days it was slather yourself in reef oil, or even coconut oil, and have some weird fun a few days later peeling the skin off each other. Oh yeah…The 70’s.
As someone else asked, or mentioned…yes, you can get malenoma in your middle or old age from the sunburn you recieved as a kid. It can also happen more rapidly as it did with my sister.
I do not wish that on anyone,it was a tragedy and all these years later I still miss her ( we were 18 months apart, she was older)
Moral of the story here, dont be a ■■■■. Tanning is not cool and highly dangerous no matter what your complexion. Remember, Bob Marley died from skin cancer!
I find it a little weird, we whitey’s seem to crave tanned skin, brown skinned people, like the young, beautiful and brains of this outfit, Mrs bonzo, crave to be white. She used to use whitening cream as a lot of them do, until I badgered her out of doing so.


i’ve survived merkel cell carcinoma 2 yrs ago . had rad and chem and so far touch wood might of beat the ■■■■■■■. merkel is related to sun exposure and normally is found on face or neck and it could be from years ago that i was exposed to a lot of hot sun playing cricket


Saddened to hear about your sister @bonzo, only 17, so young.

Of course you miss her, time passes but memories don’t.


Touching wood for you too.


You reckon he spunked in the sparayer?


DIggers’ post just about killed the thread.

So can I revive it with a serious question for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or knows someone who has.

Disclaimer upfront: this is based on research breakthroughs my group has made.

So if you don’t like serious, or the disclaimer, stop reading now.

Consider these points:

  1. Medical science is not good at predicting outcomes of cancer. For example, more melanoma patients who are rated as “low risk” die than those rated at high risk. About 1500 Australians die of melanoma each year despite being told they were at low risk.

  2. Suppose there was a new test that could identify people at high risk of death so they could get better management, and low risk people could be reassured.

  3. The test would cost about $300, but:

  4. Australian government does not support such tests via Medicare currently.

So the question is: if you were diagnosed with e.g. melanoma would you pay to have such a test to identify your risk of death within 5 years?

Another disclaimer: this world-leading research can’t get funded in Australia. One of the reasons is a criticism that people “don’t want to know”.

I would be grateful for any serious answers. PM me if you prefer not to share publicly.


This reads awfully like an abstract question, even though you’ve put the disclaimer in that it’s not.

I certainly haven’t seen reference to anything that black and white when it comes to diagnosis (as opposed to treatment after you’re identified as stage 3 plus).

(8mm ulcerated here, so I present as an outlier in that the smug little cancer appears to have been too blooody lazy to spread.)


Yes, I had to abstract it in some way. You would not have read anything because it’s not published yet - if it was it would have been exploited by Big Pharma already.

If you like, PM me with an email address and I can send you more info.


i have survived merkel cell carcinoma after being diagnosed with the little blighter 3 years ago. but 3 years is a long time in cancer treatments as they now use immunotherapy i think thats how you spell it. i might of saved me the rad and chem but your question about knowing and would you pay for a test and my answer is a big yes.
after 18 months of living in limbo at least if you knew to a certain extent your life expectancy it takes a burden off me anyway but might not be the case for all. just i prefer to meet things head on less worry


Thanks, mate, I appreciate your feedback.

The immunotherapies are a huge advance. The commonly used ones prevent the tumours from “turning off” the immune system. There are others on the horizon that involve infusion of immune cells that will kill the tumour. (If you are interested you could look up “CAR-T cell therapy”).

I hope all goes well and you have beaten it!


Can I ask a very dumb/ignorant question?

How do skin cancers develop? Is it only when you get burnt, or could one develop even if you wore sunscreen all the time?

I just spent three weeks at the beach, outside for considerable periods each day. Was super religious with the sunscreen (we have small kids), nobody ever got burnt, but everyone still has a bit of a tan. I always assumed that was ok but maybe not?


Sounds like you’ve done pretty well, but these days with the lack of ozone, I’d have myself and my kids in full sleeve rash vests or the like if they were going to be on the beach all day, . particularly during the middle hours.

Yes it could still happen, …but the chances would be very low.


Cancer effectively comes about due to damage/mutation to our DNA that our body doesn’t/can’t deal with on its own (at any point in time we’ve got cancer cells present in our bodies but most don’t cause us any issues).
Skin cancer would be possible without any UV exposure, but obviously increased exposure increases the amount of damage/mutation occurring and therefore risk of cancer.
You’re also exposed to UV regardless of whether you tanned, burned etc but as before if you actually get burnt then there’s an increase amount of cell damage.


But are you exposed to UV that can cause mutation when you’re wearing sunscreen? (50+)


Yes you are - as you have said you got a bit of a tan. SPF 50+ means that nearly all the UV was blocked but some did get through. As BSD said, if you wanted 100% you would need some UV-opaque clothing.

It all comes down to chance - DNA not only has to be damaged but the mutation has to be made in the “right” (i.e. “wrong”) genes in order to turn a cell cancerous. So the less mutagen, the less DNA damage, the less likely a cell becomes cancerous. Then other factors come into play, like genetic variation in other genes that may increase susceptibility.

In addition to all that, there is a class of melanoma that can develop that is independent of UV exposure, and this occurs at low frequency in most populations, not just the northern Europeans who are more likely to develop the sunburn type melanoma.


So we’re all farked is what you’re saying