CANCER Council is urging all Queenslanders to get their skin checked this summer, with concerns many people don’t know their own skin well enough to spot a change and reduce their risk of cancer.
As the weather warms up, Cancer Council is concerned Queenslanders may become complacent or rely on non-GP approved skin checks for their appointments.
Queenslanders are being encouraged to schedule a self-skin examination this summer, or to visit their GP or a skin cancer clinic for a check-up.
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Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said skin cancer was a big issue in the Sunshine State – the skin cancer capital of the world – and that all Queenslanders needed to take it seriously.
“Don’t be complacent with sun safety this summer. While skin cancer is common and can be deadly, it is also one of the easiest to prevent and treat,” Ms Clift said.
“Stay SunSmart and follow trusted methods for skin cancer detection – if you notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size – visit your GP immediately.
“Early detection is vital in improving survival rates.”
Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Around 3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.
Some changes to look for in the skin include:
•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 or
•Spots that look different from the others.
“Although Queenslanders may notice some of these changes, it does not necessarily mean they have skin cancer, however it is important all Queenslanders see a health professional to have any changes investigated further,” Ms Clift said.
“We recommend Queenslanders contact their GP for a skin check, and if they require a second opinion, to obtain a referral to a dermatologist.”
Cancer Council recommends all Queenslanders abide by all five recommended sun protective behaviours – Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses when out and about.
Sun protection is required when the UV Index is three and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is three and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland encourages sun protection through every season.