Whether or not you have grown up in Australia or have had sun exposure, a regular skin check is important to watch for any changes that might indicate a skin problem. If you have any concerns about any skin bump, moles, beauty spot or freckle then please make an appointment for a skin check with your doctor here at Floreat Medical.
It is easy to have a full body skin cancer screening examination every year, or more often if your doctor decides that you need more careful monitoring. Some people may be at higher risk of developing skin cancer such as:
- Inherited risk; such as red hair and freckles, having multiple moles and freckles on your body, or if you have a family history of melanoma.
- Environmental exposure; such as too much sun, trips to the tanning salon or one or more blistering sunburns.
- Personal pre-cancerous conditions; such as actinic keratosis, dysplastic nevi (unusual moles), a personal skin cancer history such as basal and squamous cell cancers.
- Prior treatment; such as radiation treatment, immunosuppressive treatment or medications that increase risk.
While signs and symptoms of melanoma skin cancer vary from person to person, there are some things to look for:
Asymmetry: is one side of the mole different to the other?
Border Irregularity: are the edges ragged or irregular?
Colour: Is the mole getting darker or does it contain several colours?
Diameter: is it getting bigger – is the mole growing in size?
Evolution: is the mole growing in width or height or changing in appearance, or bleeding?
Feeling: has the sensation around a mole or skin spot changed?
Show any suspicious skin area, non-healing sore, or new or changing mole to your doctor right away. If detected early, most melanomas can be successfully treated, and a regular follow-up with a GP will be all that is required.
More information can be found at Department of Health/Health WA/Melanoma and skin cancer support