24/10/2016 11:06 PM AEDT | Updated 20/12/2016 1:59 PM AEDT

Gold-Medal Swimmer Thanks Eagle-Eyed Fan Who Spotted Suspicious Mole

Australian swimmer Mack Horton has one incredible fan.

The Olympic gold medalist posted a photo of himself to Instagram on Friday, in which he’s wearing a bandage and giving a thumbs up. 

“Shout out to the person that emailed the swim team doctor and told me to get my mole checked out,” he wrote in the caption. “Good call. Very good call.”

Horton did not provide further details as to whether the mole just below his collarbone was malignant, but it appears as though it was removed. 

Al Bello via Getty Images
Mack Horton took home the gold medal in the men’s 400 freestyle race during the first day of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Dermatologists recommend getting annual full-body skin checks to detect for signs of skin cancers ― especially melanoma.

“Melanoma kills over 1,500 Australians each year, and we do know that it can grow [quite quickly],” Craig Sinclair, the chair of the Skin Cancer Committee for Cancer Council Australiatold The Huffington Post Australia. “Sometimes it can be a matter of months between someone first noticing it to the point where it has metastasized and has become very difficult to treat.”

All moles should be checked regularly, but any that grow in size or change in shape or color should be looked at by a doctor as soon as possible. 

Horton is not the first celebrity to take a fan’s advice in seeking medical attention. HGTV’s Tarek El Moussa discovered he had cancer in 2013 after a viewer noticed a lump on the star’s neck and emailed the show. 

“This is not a joke,” the email read. “I’m a registered nurse. I’ve been watching ‘Flip or Flop.’ I noticed that the host Tarek has a large nodule on his thyroid, and he needs to have it checked out.” 

The HGTV host did just that, received treatment for thyroid cancer and is now in remission.

The Huffington Post reached out to The Australian Olympic Committee and Swimming Australia for more details and will update this post accordingly.


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