WHEN Leeton resident Paul Burley headed to the barbers around a month ago, all he was expecting what a haircut, but what followed was an act that saved his life.
Mr Burley visited Tristan's Barbershop in Leeton where Gabriel Adams was waiting to cut his hair.
While doing so, Mr Adams noticed a spot on the top of Mr Burley's head, saying it was something that concerned him and urged him to have it checked out by a medical professional.
Mr Burley took this advice serious, organising a full body skin check, soon discovering Mr Adams' instincts had been spot on.
"I was then booked in for biopsies for six areas of concern, including the spot on my head, which came back as melanoma. Four of the six came back as melanoma," Mr Burley said.
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"Out of all of them, the bad one was the one on my head. It was about to become an 'active melanoma'.
"After I had that one cut out and was getting the 31 staples removed, the doctor popped his head in and said 'you know that barber saved your life?
"Within six to 12 months, you would not be here."
An emotional Mr Burley said he was waiting on the area to heal, but he won't require any further treatment or chemotherapy or radiation.
"It was just the right timing that Gabriel saw it and mentioned it to me ... if I had of waited any longer, it wasn't looking good," Mr Burley said.
"I have a family and so many things I still want to do in life, so this has been quite a shock, but I am so, so grateful to Gabriel.
"I definitely owe him a few beers that's for sure."
After I had that one cut out and was getting the 31 staples removed, the doctor popped his head in and said 'you know that barber saved your life?Leeton's Paul Burley
For Mr Adams, the knowledge he has helped to save someone's life is something he said he would remember for a long time to come.
"I'm so glad I spotted it and said something," Mr Adams said.
"I've had a few experiences like that, but this one was different. It was a spot you wouldn't be able to see yourself.
"I'm just happy I could help and that it's all turned out well."
Mr Burley has encouraged residents to stay on top of their skin checks, regardless of their age, saying a head-to-toe assessment was crucial in saving people's lives.
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