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Hugh Jackman credits B.C. makeup artist for spotting skin cancer

Hugh Jackman, pictured on May 10, 2014. Mike Coppola / Getty Images

TORONTO — Hugh Jackman says he found out he had skin cancer after a Canadian makeup artist alerted him to a small red spot on his nose.

The Australian actor told People his path to being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma began in Montreal while he was filming X-Men: Days of Future Past in the summer of 2013.

Jackman has not identified his makeup artist but Global News has learned it was Vancouver-based Rita Ciccozzi.

“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.’ And trust me, for 17 years I’ve played Wolverine and I’ve had more scraps and cuts … I’m very clumsy with those claws,” Jackman recalled.

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A week later, Ciccozzi brought it up again. “And I said ‘Yes, it must have dried up and in the shower I rubbed it off.’ Cut to a week later, and she said ‘I think you should go get it checked.'”

Jackman said his wife also urged him to get the spot checked out.

Jackman said he received the skin cancer diagnosis in November 2013 from Dr. Michael Albom in New York City.

“It’s always a bit of a shock just hearing the word ‘cancer,'” Jackman said. “I was trying to keep calm about it but it wasn’t until [Albom] really explained to me that what I had, in a way, was the kind of skin cancer you want to have if you’re going to have it.”

Jackman revealed he has had four skin cancers removed in the last 18 months — three from his nose and one from his shoulder.

“I go every three months for checkups,” he said. “It’s the new normal for me.”

Ciccozzi, who is back in Montreal working on X-Men: Apocalypse, could not be reached for comment.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common skin cancers. It shows up as open sores or red patches on the skin.

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