2GB radio host Ray Hadley has been forced to take a temporary leave of absence from his show due to a major health scare and has used it to send a message to other Aussies about their health.

The 67-year-old underwent an “important surgery” to remove a lesion that his wife discovered on the back of his leg which continued to grow and bleed.

Becoming concerned, Hadley visited a clinician and had a biopsy taken from the lesion for testing.

Several weeks later he received the good news that it wasn’t cancerous, but it would still need to be removed.

Ahead of his return to the airwaves next week, Hadley told his co-host Mark Levy that he was feeling good post-operation and that the surgery had been a success.

“I’ve ended up with 60 stitches in the back of my leg,” he told listeners on Tuesday.

“I’m okay … but that’s what you can end up with.”

Hadley has used his recent health scare to urge Aussies, particularly men, to stay on top of their health and go see their GPs.

“I’ve been a big advocate for men’s health for the last two decades, telling blokes, especially in the bush, to go and see their GP,” Hadley said.

“I concentrate on blokes because they’re not as good as ladies at going and discussing their medical problems, and more recently, in light of what’s happened to Paul Green’s family and Paul Green himself, mental health is another one to advocate for.”

Recounting his latest experience, Hadley said he took his own advice and went to the Melanoma Institute in northern Sydney, where he underwent a biopsy.

“They weren’t happy with it, so they said, ‘We’ve got to take it out’,” he explained.

When he was told the surgery might require a skin graft and that the lesion would be tested to determine whether it was a melanoma, he said he’d expected it would just be “a little wound” and not the large, 60-stitch wound he was left with.

“You’ve got to check your health, because if I had let this linger and not done something about it, it’s quite possible it could have transformed from what it is into something more sinister and become life-threatening,” he added.

“Check your body, you blokes, especially if you’re in the sun and spend a lot of time outdoors, get your partner to check what’s going on, things you can’t see on your back and talk to your GP about prostate cancer, bowel cancer, about heart health.”

Levy said his co-host’s stitches made it look like he had been “bitten by a shark” and echoed Hadley’s message to Aussies to get their skin checked.

“If you’re worried about a little spot, just get it checked,” Levy said.

“You can’t leave it too long.”

Image: The Ray Hadley Morning Show (Facebook)

This article first appeared on OverSixty.