New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. With a large amount of fair-skinned people, lots of sunshine and outdoor lifestyles, it is a perfect storm for skin cancer. According to Melanoma New Zealand, over 4000people are diagnosed with melanoma in New Zealand each year. But when caught early, it is highly treatable.
That’s why checking your moles and knowing the options that exist locally for diagnosis is so important. Below we’ll go over what you need to know about checking your moles and the medical care options available in Christchurch.
Know the melanoma warning signs
The first step to catching skin cancer early is educating yourself about the warning signs. Most melanoma skin cancer will develop from a new mole or changes in a pre-existing mole. Take inventory of all the moles and blemishes on your skin so you know what’s normal for your body and can spot any changes should they occur. Once you know what’s normal, look out for the following changes and warning signs in your moles:
· A change in size, especially when the mole gets larger
· Edges of the mole become irregular and blotchy
· The color of the mole becomes uneven with many colors and dark spots
· The mole is no longer symmetrical
· The mole is itchy or painful
· The mole bleeds, scabs or becomes crusty
· The mole becomes inflamed
· The mole raises in the center or becomes thicker
If you spot anything suspicious, contact your doctor or dermatologist immediately. In Christchurch there are several providers and clinics available for you to check your moles and catch skin cancer early.
Melanoma New Zealand is a resource that lists several skin check providers throughout the Christchurch area.