WHAT'S ahead for Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead after he had a melanoma removed his lip?

Leading sports medico Dr Peter Larkins took AFL.com.au through the process Roughead is facing:

"As I understand it, Jarryd has been getting regular check-ups, which would suggest this melanoma has been detected relatively early so that's a positive thing.

With the specimen that's been taken from Jarryd's lip, the doctors will check to see whether there's evidence around its edges of melanoma. 

If there's no evidence – that is, if it's bit back to normal skin around the edges – they'll hope they've taken everything out from that site. 

If they have, Jarryd could be back playing within three weeks. That's the time it takes to physically recover from the surgery – to get the stiches out and wait for the swelling to go down. 

Even in this best-case scenario, Jarryd will need regular check-ups. Once you've had melanoma, you've got melanoma therapy and check-ups for life.

It's quite common though for melanoma patients to require radiotherapy after the melanoma has been removed.

The amount of radiotherapy a patient requires is generally based on the size of the area being treated. If it's on the ear, neck or forehead, radiotherapy sessions can involve as little as four or five sessions on a weekly basis. 

In Jarryd's case, the lip and face is a small area but radiotherapy on the face unfortunately is prone to causes all sorts of skin reactions, with redness and irritation common around the site where the radiotherapy is directed. 

The only time a patient needs further surgery is when the specimen comes back and melanoma is detected right up to its edge. But this is uncommon as surgeons generally err on the side of cutting out a bigger specimen than they need.

Melanoma is a very well recognised and well treated condition in the medical world, so Jarryd will be having access to the very best specialist treatment."