By the age of 70, two out of three Australians would have been diagnosed with skin cancer, with 95% of those cancers being caused by UV radiation. This radiation is invisible to the eyes and can penetrate the layers of the skin, causing damage to the DNA. If our bodies are unable to repair this damage, our cells begin to divide and grow uncontrollably, leading to the formation of a tumour.
Whilst we spend $1 Billion each year treating skin cancers, it is definitely one of the easier cancers to prevent.
What better way to prevent than using good sun protection. So, Slip on sun-protective clothing, Slop on SPF 30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on sunglasses.
How to check your skin:
- Make sure you check your entire body as skin cancers can sometimes occur in parts of the body not exposed to the sun, for example soles of the feet, between fingers and toes and under nails.
- Undress completely and make sure you have good light.
- Use a mirror to check hard to see spots, like your back and scalp, or get a family member, partner or friend to check it for you.
Some changes to look out for when checking your skin for signs of any cancer:
- New moles.
- Moles that increases in size.
- 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.
- Spots that look different from the others.
To help you along your way, make sure to visit your local GP who will be able to check your skin for any worrying signs. There are also doctors in town that specialise in skin checks, so be sure to get yourself checked out.
Your local Friendlies pharmacy is also your one-stop-shop for the appropriate sun protection gear. We have sunglasses, broad-brimmed hats, and a great range of broad-spectrum sunscreen.