According to survey findings from the Australasian College of Dermatologists, less than one in three Australian men consider themselves at high risk of skin cancer, even though 82% have at least one known risk factor (i.e. fair skin, working outdoors). They are seeing a large number of male patients with some form of skin cancer and are highlighting the importance of early diagnosis. So, for Men’s Health Week we’re shining a light on the importance of daily sunscreen use and regular skin checks.
We Are Feel Good Inc. Co-Founder and Skin Cancer Physician, Dr. Scott McGregor, says he has seen the devastating impact of skin cancer throughout his career and urges everyone to get their skin checked regularly.
“As a skin cancer and cosmetic physician I spend my day dealing with the damaging effects of the sun. I have advocated for the daily use of SPF 50+ sunscreen for many years as the best way to prevent premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer,” Scott commented.
“If you have never had a skin check, then get one done, no matter what type of skin you have. A skin check isn’t just checking you for skin cancer. It also allows the doctor to educate and advise regarding your relative risk based on your skin type, family history, past exposure, current habits etc. You should leave the consultation with a clear idea of how to protect your skin from skin cancer and your relative risk of developing future cancers of the skin. It also allows the doctor a great opportunity to educate around the other damaging effects of the sun, including ageing of the skin, and discuss with you how best to manage this,” added Scott.
We Are Feel Good Inc. Co-Founder and Ex-Pro Surfer Jake Paterson understands the importance of regular skin checks after a close call with skin cancer. “About a year ago I had this scab on my head that never seemed to heal. Not having hair doesn’t help with sun damage on the top of my head, but my wife kept bugging me to go get checked. My local doctor had one look and said it had to come out. 12 stitches later and a big hole in my head... but the operation went well,” Jake commented.
Jake’s advice? “Get checked once a year. Skin checks are the way to go and if anything looks suss, just get it checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry!”
What about sunscreen in winter?
You actually need to wear sunscreen whenever the UV rating is over three, and the UV rating is over three in most parts of Australia all year long. So, we can’t stress enough that wearing sunscreen should be a daily, year-round routine.
Men’s Health Week is all about increasing awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of health issues among men and boys. Skin cancer is just one of these preventable health issues so it’s important to visit your GP for regular check ups!
** A note from HealthMatch regarding Skin Cancer Clinical Trials
Based on research, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before they turn 70. 95% of these skin cancers are caused because of UV radiation – overexposure to the sun. This exposure to UV radiation results in damage to the DNA inside your skin cells, causing abnormal cell growth – resulting in a mass of cancer cells. HealthMatch has 18 trials available for skin cancer, including ones aimed at targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Visit the HealthMatch website to find out more.