Even if you have carefully practiced sun safety all summer, it's important to continue being vigilant about your skin all year round. In Australia, the UV rating is still quite high throughout Winter so we are not safe from these harmful rays. Throughout the year, you should examine your skin head-to-toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help you identify potential skin cancers early, when they can almost always be completely cured.
First, for a successful self-exam, you obviously need to know what you're looking for. As a general rule, to spot either Melanomas or Non-melanoma skin cancers (such as Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma), take note of any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way. Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don't heal after 6 weeks are also alarm signals.
It is so vital to catch melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, early that skin cancer specialists have developed two specific strategies for early recognition of the disease: the ABCDEs(as pictured below) and the Ugly Duckling sign.
Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a Doctor or Skin Specialist immediately.
Please learn your ABCDE's - you never know it may save your life or someone else's!
Contact PreventiHealth to organise your Workplace Skin Check Program for 2019.