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Former world No.1 Justin Thomas has revealed he recently found himself at the centre of a skin cancer scare.

The 26-year-old took to Instagram to share details of his frightening experience, as well as a picture of a scar that it left him with.

“I recently had a scare at the dermatologist where a very small mole on my left leg was caught in the early stages of melanoma,” wrote Thomas. “Luckily, we found it at a time where there should be no problems going forward.”

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Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which develops when unrepaired damage to skin cells – mostly caused by UV rays – triggers genetic defects that cause the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumours. 

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According to Cancer Research UK, there are 15,419 new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the UK every year, of which as many as two-thirds are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

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Having had a lucky escape, Thomas is now urging his fellow golfers and athletes to get themselves checked.

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“No harm can come from it and it’s the best way to catch anything before it becomes a serious issue,” he added. “Especially for all the junior golfers (and other athletes) spending so much time in the sun. 

“It is so important to make sure you’re monitoring your body – no matter how old you are or how much sunscreen you use. 

“It really got my attention, and hoping it does the same to y’all!

7 ways to avoid getting sunburnt on the golf course

Click here for advice on how to protect yourself against the sun.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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