In a surprising turn of events, Australian influencer Katrina Chan, known for her stylish presence on social media, has unveiled a harrowing story that emerged from her friend’s skin cancer scare. This revelation serves as a stark reminder of the importance of early detection and the potentially life-saving impact it can have.

Katrina Chan, 30, had been procrastinating her skin check for years, citing the financial burden as her main reason. However, a fateful encounter with her close friend, Stephanie Adams, 29, changed everything. When Adams noticed a suspicious-looking mole on her foot, she decided to take action and have it examined, leading to a chilling discovery.

Driven by her friend’s diligence, Chan decided to invest approximately $200 in her first comprehensive skin assessment. Little did she know that this decision would unveil a hidden melanoma spot. She expressed her shock, saying, “I was just so taken aback.”

Following this initial scare, Chan’s medical expenses have continued to accumulate, now exceeding $1000. Her ongoing costs encompass GP consultations, mole mapping, cancer removal surgery, and three-month check-ups. Despite the financial strain, she remains grateful to her friend, acknowledging that this proactive approach might have ultimately saved her life.

Adams, the catalyst for Chan’s medical journey, has faced similar challenges, incurring about $1000 in out-of-pocket expenses for skin checks and necessary cancer removal procedures. Her motivation to take action stemmed from a precancerous mole on her foot, which medical professionals initially dismissed due to her age. Trusting her instincts, she opted for a second opinion at a private clinic, ultimately confirming her concerns.

Adams reflects on her decision, saying, “The only reason I went through with it was because I thought, ‘if this is going to keep me alive, it’s obviously worth doing it.'” She now urges her friends and peers to prioritize skin checks, realizing the importance of early detection.

The compelling accounts of Chan and Adams come at a time when an increasing number of Australians are avoiding medical visits due to the rising costs of healthcare. With a growing number of General Practitioners discontinuing bulk-billing and the lingering freeze on Medicare rebates, preventive healthcare is at risk.

Cleanbill, a healthcare directory, reported that 514 clinics that previously bulk-billed all patients had ceased this practice by early 2023. As a result, delayed diagnosis of skin cancer is expected to rise, with over 16,000 Australians projected to be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2024.

In response to this concerning trend, the Melanoma Institute Australia is advocating for more affordable screening options for high-risk patients, including those with a family history or fair skin complexion. They emphasize the importance of getting to know one’s skin and visiting a GP or skin specialist when any changes or concerns arise.

The institute offers a free and straightforward melanoma risk calculator at, allowing all Australians to assess their own risk and take proactive steps towards their health.

Katrina Chan and Stephanie Adams’s stories serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of regular skin checks and early detection. In a world where healthcare costs are on the rise, prioritizing our health becomes more crucial than ever. Their experiences underscore that sometimes a simple warning from a friend can be the catalyst for a life-saving journey.