Melanoma Awareness, Skin Checks

Melanoma doesn't hibernate

Learn how to self-examine for skin cancer and melanoma year round

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 12/07/17
Winter Self Check Blog Postv2

Make no mistake, there is no season for melanoma. It can arise at any time.

A MoleMap analysis of the NZ Cancer Registry has found that the number of cases of melanomas reported during winter rose by 24% between 2003 and 2005.

So potentially thicker melanomas and a larger number of melanomas reported, means that winter is definitely not a good time to become complacent. Especially if you are at higher risk of developing melanoma.

Self Examination For Melanoma

Above: Check your skin for any moles that has changed in colour or size.

Self-examination is the first step towards early detection

A full body self examination enables you to detect any suspicious lesions that may be cancerous. Thinking ABCD can help you remember what to watch out for:

  • Asymmetry – The shape of one half does not match the other.
  • Border – The edges are often ragged, notched, blurred, or irregular in outline.
  • Colour – The colour is uneven. Shades of black, brown and tan may be present. Areas of white, grey, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
  • Diameter – Size changes and usually increases.

Some melanomas do not fit the ABCD rule. So if you notice a mole that:

  • itches or bleeds
  • is changing shape, size or colour
  • is new
  • is different from others

Don’t delay and seek for a specialist immediately. When detected and treated early, melanoma is nearly 100% curable.

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