Unfortunately, Australians have always had an uphill battle on their hands when it comes to skin cancer due in part to both the climate of the country itself and how they lead their lives.
One recent study revealed that two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the time they hit age 70. Not only that, but more than 2,000 Australians actually die from skin cancer every year.
This is why getting yourself checked for skin cancer by a professional on a regular basis is so important. It is literally your best chance to make sure that you don’t find yourself among the statistics like those outlined above.
However, nobody is saying that you need to get checked out once a month or anything like that — far from it. If you really want to know when you should be getting yourself checked for skin cancer, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
When Should You Get Checked for Skin Cancer?
First thing’s first: as a rule of thumb, you should absolutely have yourself checked out by a dermatologist or MoleMap for skin cancer at least once per year if you have either a family history of something like melanoma or if you already have a previous experience with skin cancer.
These things tend to develop very, very quickly, and if you do have signs or symptoms of a larger problem, it’s really the type of situation where every minute counts. Finding out as soon as you can is one of the keys to making sure you stay safe and healthy, and that means making an appointment annually.
Even if you’re not in a high-risk group, you should still be checking your own skin on a regular basis, and if a spot or mole suddenly looks like it’s growing or is just out of place, escalate things and make an appointment with a dermatologist. Again: the importance of early detection in these types of situations cannot be overstated enough.
Having said that, if you’re not a member of the high-risk group or you aren’t presently concerned about a particular spot or mole, you don’t necessarily need to make an appointment with a dermatologist once per year. Not everyone is at the same level of risk after all. In that case, there are still a few other signs to watch out for that indicate the time is right to make an appointment with a medical professional.
When a Check-Up Matter Matters: Easing Your Concerns
According to one recent study conducted by TAL, a massive 71% of Australians have not had their skin checked in the last 12 months. People either don’t know what an important role family history plays in terms of proper skin cancer detection or they’re not taking their health seriously enough. Either way, this is a trend that needs to be reversed as quickly as possible.
If you find yourself growing concerned about a particular spot or mole located somewhere on your body, you should absolutely get yourself checked out. Everyone — regardless of age — should really make an effort to get to know their own skin as well as possible. They need to know what “normal” looks like so that when something abnormal starts to happen, they realise it as soon as they can.
During the Winter
Finally, you’ll also want to make it a point to get yourself checked for skin cancer during the winter months of the year for a very important reason. The types of skin lesions that are often caused by summer sun damage can often take months or even years to appear. So just because nothing developed during the summer doesn’t mean that a much larger and more important problem can’t develop down the road.
Likewise, you’re already less likely to notice potential symptoms or other danger signs during the winter because you’re wearing heavier, fuller clothing. Because of all this, you should make it a habit to get yourself checked out during the winter just to be on the safe side at the very least.
MoleMap: Your Partner in the Fight against Skin Cancer
When it comes to something as important as your health (and something as deadly as skin cancer), this is one of those situations where you absolutely don’t want to leave anything to chance. Making regular appointments to get yourself checked out is more than just “playing on the safe side” — if you’re already in a high-risk group or you have a suspicious mole, this one appointment may very well be the thing that saves your life.
If you have any additional questions about when to have yourself checked out for skin cancer, or if you’re in a high-risk group and you’d like to book an appointment with MoleMap to take things to the next level, please don’t delay — contact us today.