National Skin Check Day

Felix Ellis,Liberal Member for Braddon

Today is Australia’s National Skin Check Day and Liberal Member for Braddon, Felix Ellis, has encouraged Tasmanians to book in for a skin check with a Skin Cancer Doctor, trained GP or dermatologist.

To raise public awareness and to increase community participation rates for the early detection of melanoma and related skin cancers, Mates Against Melanoma created Australia’s National Skin Check Day – a national action day for our national cancer.

“The best way to quickly detect if you have skin issues is to get your skin checked out by a doctor. Many skin cancers are simple to treat if picked up early,” Mr Ellis said.

“For National Skin Check Day I visited a local GP in Smithton and he picked up a pigmented lesion on my back that needs to be monitored and potentially removed.”

“Particularly in regional and remote areas, it’s important to know that there are these services available in the local community. I’d definitely encourage more blokes to do it as well. It’s quick, easy, and could be the difference between seeing your kids grow up and not.

“The key takeaways from National Skin Check Day are; Slip, Slop, Slap, get to know your skin and get an annual skin check-up.”

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and about two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.

While melanoma represents 2% of all skin cancers, it causes 75% of skin cancer deaths.

In Tasmania, melanoma is the third most common cancer in women and the fourth most common in men and sadly, we lose on average 30-50 people a year to melanoma.

Melanoma occurs mainly due to too much exposure to sunlight or UV radiation, but it may also occur in places that have never seen the sun. This may be due to families passing down faulty genes that make moles develop into melanoma or for melanomas to form where there haven’t been any moles.

The most common places for melanomas to occur are the skin of men’s backs and on women’s legs, but melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. Other common places are:

  • the head and neck;
  • the skin under the fingernails; and
  • the soles of the feet or palms of the hands.

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