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How dangerous is skin cancer?

Protection against UV exposure is vital for skin cancer prevention

You might already know that detecting skin cancer early is not all bad news. The majority of skin cancers including a serious melanoma, have a very favourable outcome or a cure when detected early.

Living in Australia means we are all at risk, some more so than others. Some of the obvious risks are UV exposure and damage, blistering burns, fair skin and red hair, a lot of moles and freckles on your skin, ageing, or a family history of melanoma.

Protection against harmful UV rays is the first line of defence. A baseline skin check with a professional doctor who has skills in dermoscopy and skin cancer medicine is a good start in order to know your skin and risk of skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most serious of all skin cancers. Melanoma should never be underestimated and low risk doesn't mean zero risk. Detecting melanoma before it progresses to become life threatening or needing advanced surgical and medical care is the ultimate goal.

After a long lockdown we are all in need outdoor activities this summer. Now is a good time to have skin check yourself all over. It takes little skill, a keen eye and it could save your life. Skin Doctors refer to it as skin SCAN (Sore, Change, Abnormal, New)

After your next shower whilst drying, do a self skin SCAN. For more detail ask your partner to get involved. If you prefer to be a bit more technical, get a selfie of your back and parts you find difficult to see. When the summer is over, have another self skin SCAN and see if you can spot the difference.

Dr Rohde is a qualified Skin Cancer Doctor and provides urgent spot and skin checks at The Bowral Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Clinic.

Woman checking her skin for skin cancer at The Bowral Skin Cancer & Cosmetic Clinic


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