health

Ex-Survivor contestant Jacqui's treatment for a broken arm led to the discovery of a melanoma.

In a shock elimination, marriage celebrant Jacqui Patterson was eliminated from Australian Survivor on last night’s episode.

Now, the 50-year-old has revealed she’s facing her biggest fight yet, after she was diagnosed with stage four melanoma post-show.

Her cancer was only discovered when the full extent of an injury to her arm was determined after she arrived back in Australia: Jacqui had fallen and broken her arm during a challenge that didn’t make it to air.

“They misdiagnosed me while I was there, and I was in a fair amount of pain,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

jacqui survivor
Jacqui has been diagnosed with melanoma since leaving the show. Image via Channel 10.

"I fell quite badly, and they don't have X-rays and ultrasounds out there."

After having surgery - a procedure that left her with four screws in her shoulder - a friend and sister noticed a suspicious-looking mole while giving Jacqui a massage.

"There is a silver lining to [my injury], it's a blessing in disguise," Jacqui said.

"They said I had a funny mole and I should get it checked out.

Within a week, the Byron Bay resident had been diagnosed with a grade four melanoma, something the ex-Survivor contestant calls her "next big challenge".

jacqui survivor
The 50-year-old was eliminated in last night's episode. Image via Channel 10.
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"It's not a good [challenge] to have, but let's just hope they have got it early enough," she said.

Jacqui is due to undergo further surgery next week to remove the melanoma, and give doctors an idea of the next step in her treatment.

"They are going to take some lymph nodes and mess my back up a bit, but let's just get it out," she said.

The Melanoma Institute Australia has released a statement in regards to Jacqui's diagnosis, urging all Australians to be aware of the risks of sun exposure.

Melanoma is the most common cancer among 15 - 39-year-old Australians, with one Aussie dying every five hours from the disease.

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"Unfortunately, this is the sad reality for some 14,000 Australians who are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year," CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia, Carole Renouf, said.

"A melanoma diagnosis not only impacts the patient, but also their wider family and friends as they embark on what can only be described as a battle to beat this insidious disease.

"We are acutely aware of the challenges ahead for this Australian Survivor star, and our thoughts are with Jacqui and her family."

While there is no suggestion that Jacqui's exposure to sun during her time on the show contributed to her melanoma diagnosis, her news comes just three weeks after Renouf publicly called out the reality television show for showing contestants who were "blatantly sunburnt".

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The Melanoma Institute Australia CEO said seeing Australians purposely exposing their skin to sun damage made her "frustrated" and "angry".

"Melanoma is not a game, and its greatest risk factor - sunburn - has no place on a reality TV game show," she said, in a statement released on July 31.

"While we at Melanoma Institute Australia are trialling new melanoma treatments to save lives, and educating the community about the need to protect themselves from the sun, shows like Australian Survivor are doing the exact opposite during prime-time viewing.

"Let's outlaw sunburn on reality TV shows, and treat it like the potential killer it is, just like smoking and drink driving.

"By forging an alliance, we can outwit, outplay and outlast melanoma."

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