It's National Skin Cancer Action week and we're here to remind you of the importance of regular skin checks. As we all should know, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with approximately two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Over 95% of skin cancers are treatable if caught in time, with 90% of those melanomas. Melanoma is the most common cancer in the 20-30 age group in Australia, which most importantly, can be prevented. Getting to know your skin and getting regular skin checks is the only way to guarantee early detection.
We spoke with our friend Ash Quinn about her experience after she discovered an irregular patch of skin, that didn't seem to be going away.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Ash! I’m a 35yr old bridal makeup artist, mum, wife and sustainable living advocate and avid daily sunscreen user. But despite that, here I am answering this Q&A.
You were recently diagnosed with skin cancer, how did you first notice something was askew?
I knew it was about time I started getting skin checks but when there was a small patch of textured skin on my nose that didn’t seem to be going away it spurred me on to finally make that appointment.
Did always have regular skin checks?
I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t had a skin check prior to this. I guess you sometimes associate these things with older people, or it’s easy to put off if you don’t think there is anything to worry about.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I wish I’d starting having yearly skin checks at an earlier age so that my skin cancer would have been picked up earlier. It would have saved me a visit to the plastic surgeon and a more intense recovery had it been caught sooner.
What advice do you have for our readers?
Book your skin check even if you think there isn’t anything to worry about! They’re so fast, easy and can be inexpensive depending on where you go. It’ll give you peace of mind and if they do find anything, it will be seen to sooner rather than later which could save you a world of pain, problems and even your life depending on the situation.
So as Ash put it, don't ignore getting your skin checked. If you were born & raised in Australia, chances are you may experience some form of skin cancer by the time you are 30. Get to know your skin and book regular skin checks. Oh and PS - it's never too late to start wearing sunscreen!