Hello my name is Jim Cormack. I live in Melbourne Australia. Married to Nelly. Four children and 7 grandchildren. Now 67 years of age and retired from work but not life.
Australia has the second highest incidence of skin cancer per head of population in the world. Basically it boils down to Australian love of outdoor activities and competing in sport. The more you enjoy outdoor activities the greater the risk you have of getting skin cancer.
I played cricket and umpired cricket for 50 years and spent up to 7 hours nearly every Saturday from October to March, when cricket is played in Australia.
In July 2013 I was diagnosed with a small melanoma on my left cheek. Over the coming four months I had four surgeries, getting progressively bigger.
The pathology from the last surgery came back as all clear of cancer in December 2013.
I attended for a review in March 2014 and after scans was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma which meant that the cancer (melanoma) had spread.
In late July/early August 2014 I began treatment on a drug new to Australia called Opdivo© or Nivolumab. This treatment was given by Peter MacCallum Hospital and involves fortnightly infusions given over one hour.
In December 2014 my scans showed 75% regression of all tumours and in March 2015 scans revealed that 100% of my tumours had disappeared. Subsequent scans in June, September and November 2015 have shown that I am still 100% tumour free. After 76 infusions of Nivolumab and 4 of Yervoy before that I am finally off fortnightly treatment and doing 3 monthly scans and reviews by my oncologist.
Below are my PET Scans that show the progress of my cancer. The second one was when I was at my worst followed by the December scan showing significant regression of the cancer with the last two showing I am tumour free. Apart from the head and bladder which are top and bottom of each scan, the black areas in the rest of each photo are the tumours resulting from melanoma.
I am writing this guide as I believe in giving back. I have the experience, knowledge and aptitude in sport as well as with cancer to help others from going through my traumatic experience.
In the following pages I will go deeper into skin cancer. The statistics will be from Australia. Australia has the second highest per head skin cancer rate in the world. Plus I live in Australia and am treated by Australian healthcare professionals.