A Golfer Like Me

David Barker

About me
I have been a member of Barrow Golf Club for 47 years. The course overlooks the Irish Sea and although it’s beautiful, it’s exposed to all the elements. You can go out to play on a sunny day, however, due to the prevailing and fairly consistent breeze, it never feels particularly warm. This gives you the false impression that sun protection is not necessary, and this is why I regularly ended up with a sunburn, and as a result of that, skin cancer.

I am retired and, weather permitting, play golf four times a week. I always wear a hat as I’m “a bit thin on top” but I always pushed the brim of the hat up so that my face would get ‘nice and brown all over’. In hindsight this was just stupid, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I always applied sunscreen on my arms and legs when exposed but, for some strange reason, never on my face. To be honest, I had a lot to do with wanting a tan and the attitude, ‘it will never happen to me’. Unfortunately, I now know that it can.

My experience
I noticed a blemish on the end of my nose but didn’t think much of it for a few weeks, although it never faded, and in fact grew a little. Eventually, I became concerned, and went to my doctor who took a biopsy, after which it was confirmed that I had basal cell carcinoma.

A few weeks later I had a hospital appointment for it to be removed and for a skin graft to cover where the cancer had been removed. Sadly, the graft never took and I will now have a scar on the end of my nose. My advice Never push up the brim of your hat and ALWAYS wear a high factor sunscreen. My scar is a reminder of that worrying and regretful diagnosis. I never want to go through that operation again and want to inspire others to change their attitudes to sun protection.

Share page