It’s been a whirlwind three years for Cranebrook’s Emma Dunlop after a hairline freckle left her unsure if she would live or die.
Ms Dunlop was first diagnosed with melanoma in February 2014 after noticing a small freckle had begun turning pink.
“Mum called me every day for four days until it annoyed me and I went and got it looked at,” Ms Dunlop said.
The test was positive for melanoma, and half of her head was cut open to remove it.
Following the all clear, she was told to keep doing regular scans.
Last year the Weekender reported on Ms Dunlop’s anxiety after finding out the cancer had returned and spread to her lungs while on her honeymoon.
In a fortunate twist of fate, another scan in December last year showed that she is currently cancer-free.
“How can I go from not knowing if I will live or die, to the scan being clear,” Ms Dunlop asked.
Her most recent scan a few weeks ago confirmed that Ms Dunlop’s cancer still hasn’t returned, though there is a 50 per cent chance that it will.
“They say you’re not fully in the clear for 10 years. I just turned 32, and it’s the best birthday present – no cancer,” she said.
While her story is a positive one, Ms Dunlop is advocating for funds to research melanoma to find a cure.
“Without that research people will continue to go through what I went through, but it’s not always a good story at the end,” she said.
Melanoma Institute Australia is holding their annual Melanoma March this Sunday from 8am at Paramatta Park. See www.melanoma.org.au.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.