Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in Australia?
Many forms of skin cancer are preventable through certain methods, such as practising sun safety.
The best form of skin cancer prevention is being safe in the sun. That means:
avoiding direct contact with the sun
cover up with a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing
apply sunscreen half an hour before stepping outside
regularly reapply sunscreen as per your bottle's instructions (and remember to reapply more often when in water)
avoiding the sun during peak UV hours (10 am-4 pm).
Don't forget to practise sun-safety year-round!
Yes, it is more important during the warmer months, but you can still get sunburned when it's cold outside - especially when in the snow.
Sun damage that leads to skin cancer can accrue over time, so minimising our exposure year-round can go a long way in skin cancer prevention.
Get to know your skin
Knowing your skin can signal early changes to your moles and the appearance of new ones - the earliest signs of skin cancer. The earlier skin cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat. So, early detection is crucial in saving lives.
Get into the habit of performing a monthly mole check, and check your skin from head to toe. If you can't see your back well, get some assistance from a partner or family member/friend.
Read this article for tips on how to do an at-home mole check. And seek medical attention if you notice anything different or new.
See a professional once a year
Performing your own monthly mole checks is a great step in skin cancer prevention, but sometimes we can miss things that a professional won't.
A GP well versed in skin cancer checks or a dermatologist will perform a thorough examination of your skin.
Get total-body mole mapping
Total-body mole mapping is an excellent piece of medical technology that scans the entirety of your skin surface for the presence of skin cancer. If you get the scan done more than one (yearly is recommended), then your new scan is compared to your last and previous scans to see if anything has changed.
Total-body mole mapping is thorough, quick and easy. Read this article for more information on the process and what to expect.