Melanoma: Know the Risks and Protect Yourself

Cate Campbell, our Melanoma Institute of Australia Ambassador who is currently competing in Tokyo. She was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago, and was one of the lucky ones to catch it early.

 

‘SLIP, slop, slap, seek and wrap’ has been a mantra for Australians for many years.

Yet Port Stephens still has one of NSW’s highest rates of melanoma.

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Port Stephens sits in a Cancer Council NSW HotSpot with Port Stephens being the thirteenth region on the list for prevalence of Melanoma in the state.

The NSW Cancer Council states, “All people in NSW are at a high risk of melanoma, but 95 percent of melanomas can be prevented.

“There are five easy ways to protect yourself from the sun: stay in the shade where possible; wear sun protective clothing; wear a broad-brimmed hat; wear sunglasses and wear sunscreen, and reapply it regularly.”

Between 2013 and 2017 melanoma was the third most prevalent cancer in NSW with 22786 cases diagnosed.

The Australian Melanoma Foundation states, “Australia has the highest melanoma rate in the world.

“It is expected that 16,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year.

“That means one person is told they have melanoma every 30 minutes and melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer.”

An estimated 1300 people will die from melanoma in Australia this year, with many of those diagnosed aged between 15 and 39 years of age.

Skin checks are vital to detect melanoma early.

Most general practitioners are able to perform a skin check or you can access more specialised services at a skin cancer check clinic or dermatologist.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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