With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, National Skin Cancer Action Week being held November 18-24, 2018 is an important reminder of the risks of exposure to UV radiation, the need for sun protection and early skin cancer detection for all Australians.
The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.
It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about your level of risk and for advice on early detection.
Know your skin for early detection
It’s also important to get to know your skin and what is normal for you, so that you notice any changes. Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently seen than felt.
Develop a regular habit of checking your skin for new spots and changes to existing freckles or moles.
How to check your skin
Make sure you check your entire body as skin cancers can sometimes occur in parts of the body not exposed to the sun, for example soles of the feet, between fingers and toes and under nails.
- Undress completely and make sure you have good light.
- Use a mirror to check hard to see spots, like your back and scalp, or get a family member, partner or friend to check it for you.
View below for a visual guide on how to check your skin from the Cancer Council
What to look out for
These are some changes to look out for when checking your skin for signs of any cancer:
- New moles.
- Moles that increases in size.
- An outline of a mole that becomes notched.
- A spot that changes colour from brown to black or is varied.
- A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it.
- The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated.
- Moles that itch or tingle.
- Moles that bleed or weep.
- Spots that look different from the others.
Although you may notice one or more skin changes, it does not necessarily mean that you have skin cancer, however it is important that you visit your GP to have them investigated further. Your GP can discuss your skin cancer risk and advise you on your need for medical checks or self-examination.
Don’t delay, book your skin check today.
If you have any concerns about your skin, please see your doctor. The team at Providence Medical will be happy to assist and are welcoming new patients.
Four convenient locations offering a fresh approach to your health care:
Providence Medical Warners Bay
472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW 2282
Providence Medical & Dental, Belmont
Shop 3-6, Belmont Central Shopping Centre, 1 Singleton St, Belmont NSW 2290
Providence Medical Thornton
4 Bunbury St, Thornton NSW 2322
Providence Medical Anna Bay and Shoal Bay
Ph: 02 4981 2600