Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington has revealed that he has undergone treatment for skin cancer.
Harrington, whose father Patrick died from cancer, underwent surgery for “sun spots” and spoke out in a bid to raise awareness.
Speaking on Thursday, the 42-year-old said: “I have cancer and I’ve had a number of skin cancers removed off my face. When you get a symptom don’t ignore it. Do something about it.”
Harrington withdrew from the 2005 Open at St Andrews after the death of his father from oesophageal cancer on the eve of the event and is patron of the Oesophageal Cancer Fund Ireland.
He added: “Dealing with cancer is not what it was 10 years ago. Instead of just one treatment they are now looking at combining different types of treatment of dealing with oesophageal cancer.
“Everybody responds differently to treatment and ways of treating cancer are moving on. I see that when I travel the world. It is easier to clear these things up at the start rather than waiting until there is a problem. You can get treated and go on to live a much longer life.
“My father had symptoms but didn’t do anything about it. It’s the nature of men in Ireland and certainly older men. I would be much more inclined to go and do something about it.
“If I get a pain I go and get it checked out. It’s a little bit of hardship (going to the doctor) but you will feel much better afterwards.”
Speaking a few months before his death, Harrington praised the role his father played in his development. “I’ve had the best possible background for playing golf, for playing all sports,” he said.
“I couldn’t have got more encouragement from my dad without ever in any sense pushing or wanting to live his life through my sports.
“It was top-notch. When I was growing up my dad was a very competitive, very intelligent player and he just taught me the art of scoring.”
Harrington won three Majors in the space of 13 months between July 2007 and August 2008, achieving consecutive Open triumphs and also clinching the USPGA title.
However, the Dubliner has struggled in recent years and has failed to achieve a win on either the European or PGA Tours since his USPGA triumph in 2008.