Over the last 18 months, Hugh Jackman has battled skin cancer on four different occasions — an experience he describes as both shocking and humbling.
"It's always a bit of a shock just hearing the word 'cancer,'" the 46-year-old actor revealed in a new interview. "Being an Australian, [skin cancer] is a very common thing. I never wore sunscreen growing up so I was a prime candidate for it."
Hugh after his first skin cancer diagnosis in 2013. (Photo Credit: Splash Images)
The father-of-two was first diagnosed with the disease in November 2013 when his makeup artist pointed out a worrisome spot on his face and urged him to have it checked out by a doctor.
"I was filming 'X Men: Days Of Future Past' and my makeup artist said 'You've got a little spot of blood, here on your nose,' and I said 'Yeah, I know it was from a fight sequence and I knocked it somehow,'" he recalled of initially ignoring her concerns.
Hugh then learned he had basal cell carcinoma, one of three types of skin cancer. "I was trying to keep calm about it... basal cell carcinoma is just something you have to deal with. It's cancerous. It will grow. You just have to get it out," he said of his decision to immediately undergo surgery to remove the cancerous portion of his skin.
Since then, the 'Les Misérables' star has battled three more bouts of skin cancer — on his nose in May and October 2014 and recently on his shoulder — and had surgery to remove cancerous skin cells after each diagnosis.
"I go every three months for checkups. It's the new normal for me. My doctor says I'll likely have more and if that's your cross to bear in life, you should be so lucky," he told 'People.'