NRL icon and one of the voices of the game, Paul "Fatty" Vautin has spoken about his shock cancer diagnosis.
The former Manly great received the shocking news after at first believing he just had a patch of dry skin on his face.
Vautin, 61, was absent from the commentary box for Channel 9 during the opening game of the 2020 State of Origin series after being told he couldn't afford to wait to take action.
"I had a patch of what I thought was dry skin on my face, but I went to the doctor to get it looked at … the next thing I knew I was being told that I was on the way to developing skin cancer," he said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
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"With Origin coming up, I spoke to the doctor and said what would happen if I put it off for a few weeks, even three weeks. I said to him, 'Believe it or not, I work in television and my face is on TV'.
"He didn't give a rats and told me I had to act straight away. I was told not to muck around. They gave me a treatment called Efudix. It's a cream that they explained to me is like chemo in a tube. I was told to put it on twice a day for 21 days, but after 13 days, I just couldn't get any more on, it was too painful. At times it hurt so much that I couldn't talk.
"Now I know that there are plenty of people going through more than me, but this is just what I had to deal with. The doctor told me that I could back off it because it was clearly working. That was a huge relief to me."
The much-loved NRL great has issued a warning to his fellow Aussies to take care with their skin and keep getting checked by their doctors.
"Given I'm a ranga, I've always looked after my skin … I am outside a lot, but I am aware the dangers with being a redhead and the sun," he added.
"It just shows you can't be too careful. Go and get your skin checked, even if you think it couldn't be a cancer and even if you are being careful."