Reducing your skin cancer risk is similar to reducing the risk of other cancers – the more often you’re checked by an expert, the better the chances of detecting it early, when it’s most treatable.
What makes melanoma more dangerous than most other skin cancers is that it can grow fast. Incredibly fast. Melanoma can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks – and if left untreated – it can quickly spread to other parts of the body.1 What’s more, melanoma can appear on skin that’s not normally exposed to the sun, so it’s very difficult to detect it yourself.
Sunscreen every day, professional skin check every year.
We recommend having a comprehensive, professional skin cancer check – not just sporadically - but every single year. We also recommend that you check your skin thoroughly yourself at least every three months in between appointments (see what to look for) – or ask your GP to check it for you.
And of course, it goes without saying that you should follow sun safety tips: use at least a SPF30+ sunscreen every day, cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and clothing, and reduce your sun exposure between 10am and 4pm during the daylight savings months.
Your skin keeps on changing, so keep on checking.
Because your skin is always changing, we recommend a Full Body Follow-Up appointment in Year 2 and in subsequent years after your first Full Body MoleMap. This allows us to compare any differences in your skin and moles against the ‘baseline’ created during your first appointment – so we can detect and monitor any changes or new moles that have appeared.
Full Body Follow-Ups are unique to MoleMap and an essential part of our long-term, skin surveillance programme. The good news is that you don’t need to have full body photography each year – images of your skin and moles from each appointment are stored securely in our system. At each Full Body Follow-Up, your Melanographer will check your skin thoroughly from head to toe and compare any significant moles against your baseline to detect even the smallest changes over time. Also, if you have a particular mole you are concerned about, MoleMap provide up to 12 free spot checks in the year following your previous Full Body MoleMap appointment.
Far more effective than having a one-off, ‘point in time’ skin cancer check, this long-term, skin-mapping system is an effective way to detect melanoma in its early stages. Just as you tend to have regular dental, breast or prostate checks, it’s a good idea to make skin cancer checks an essential part of your wellness routine – every year.
Learn more about MoleMap’s Full Body Follow-Up appointments here or feel free to give our helpful customer services team a call on 0800 665 362.
Reference: 1. www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/melanoma