It’s Melanoma Awareness Month, so we asked Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Physician, Dr. Scott McGregor to provide us with 5 key things you need to know about Melanoma - and how you can prevent it by wearing a broad spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen.
- Every 30 minutes someone in Australia is diagnosed with Melanoma; and it is the number one cancer for those aged 20–39.
- 95% of melanomas are directly caused by over-exposure to UV radiation, meaning that they are preventable.
- A childhood history of sunburn is the biggest risk factor to developing melanoma, with four sunburn events effectively doubling your risk. Other risk factors include fair skin, multiple moles, abnormal looking moles, and a family history of melanoma. It’s important to note that melanoma can even appear in very dark skin.
- Make wearing sunscreen a part of your daily routine no matter what the weather. Every time your skin goes even just a little pink, you are experiencing the start of sunburn and are increasing your likelihood of getting skin cancer. Prevention is always the best path to avoid sunburn, so cover up, seek shade and wear an SPF of 50 or higher if you are going to be exposed for more than 5-10 minutes. Psst, don’t forget your sunglasses and hat!
- Get to know not only your own skin, but your partner's skin as well. Anyone with risk factors, such as experiencing sunburn as a child, should have an annual skin check. If you notice any new moles or unexplained lumps or bumps, get them checked.