Living in Australia we have access to many things people in other countries don’t. Such as beautiful beaches, unique wildlife, etc. However we also get much stronger UV radiation than other parts of the world. This increases our chance of getting skin cancer and is why it is so important to get your skin checked regularly.
Three little know facts about Skin Cancer
1. Two in three people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
2. Melanoma is also the most common cancer in 15-29 year olds.
3. Melanomas can appear on areas that don’t see the sun.
So how often should I get my skin checked?
There is no hard and fast time frame as everyone has a different background and medical history but most practitioners will agree that you really should be having your skin checked every 12-24months depending on your history. Your skin cancer doctor will be able to provide you with more guidance on this as they know your skin better. If you have a history of skin cancer, lots of moles or have any skin cancer in your immediate family history you need to stay on top of skin checks.
How to check your own skin
It is great to be getting regular skin checks but what if something appears before you are due? In short, come in for an appointment. Better safe than sorry. It is a good idea to get in the habit of checking your own skin regularly so that you don’t miss anything. We suggest you use the SCAN your skin method to be thorough. We encourage you to do this regularly to ensure you don’t miss any changes and make an appointment with your doctor if you do notice anything different or new.
SCAN your skin
So what is the SCAN your skin method?
This means to look for a mole or spot that is…
Sore, scaly, itchy, bleeding, tender and doesn’t heal within six weeks.
Changing in appearance, size, shape or colour.
Abnormal: Looks different, feels different, or stands out when compared to others.
New: Most melanomas – and all other skin cancers – arise this way.
It is important to check all areas of your body, even the hard to see/reach ones and ask a family member to help you with areas you can’t. This includes areas like the scalp, in-between the toes or even in-between the buttocks. See the video below for a more detailed explanation of how to check your own skin by Dr Austin. You can also visit our Skin cancer page for more information.
We are still here for you
During this time, with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, is a great time to get in the habit of doing this. If you do find anything you can always come and see us as we are still open for business as usual. We are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe during these uncertain times and are still here for all of your skin needs. Give us a call on 02 9948 1775 if you would like to make an appointment.
Stay safe, stay well and remember to check your skin!