Bermuda Premier speaks out on cancer treatment

By Sarah Lagan
Michael Dunkley has sent a message to the community to say “health is the most important thing” in light of surgery he had to treat skin cancer on his face.

The Premier, who says he is in good health following recent outpatient surgery, was speaking after One Bermuda Alliance senator Vic Ball raised the issue during yesterday’s sitting of the Senate.

Mr Dunkley told this newspaper: “I get regular physicals and dermatology is part of that because I have had some dermatology challenges.

“I had an exam at the end of last year and some spots of concern were identified and so at the first opportunity I made sure that I dealt with them by having some outpatient surgery. I had some bruising and swelling but I am pleased that the doctors told me that everything is in good condition now and I should make a full recovery.

“Because my skin is susceptible to that I have to make sure to pay attention and now I certainly put on a lot of sunscreen. However, the damage has been done and I expect to have continual challenges which I will deal with.

“My health is good and I don’t allow these little setbacks to hold me back.

“But I do want to remind the community that health is the most important thing.”

He reminded the public of the importance of always applying sunscreen for protection in Bermuda.

Addressing an “unflattering” meme posted on social media about him when parts of his face were bandaged and bruised, Mr Dunkley added: “I certainly appreciate my colleague speaking about this.

“On February 3 when I did an interview with ZBM my face was in bad shape.

“I was inundated with messages from people wondering how I was doing and if I was all right and I really thank the hundreds of people who got in touch with me.

“I was very disappointed to see the memes going around — it does no good to spread those and certainly while I have big shoulders it is not acceptable. Just think about how family and friends felt about it — my family were very disturbed by it.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, I think people would feel the same way. Senator Ball was right to speak out on the subject.”

In addressing the Senate, Mr Ball highlighted that this month was Cancer Awareness Month and in reference to the meme online he said that Bermuda needed to “mature as a community”.(The Royal Gazette)

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