By now, many people are no doubt well aware of the fact that skin cancer is a major problem that Australians in particular face on a regular basis. According to Cancer Council Australia, skin cancers continue to make up for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in this country every year. Not only that, but in 2015 alone, nearly 2,162 people died as a result of skin cancer in this country — 1,520 of those were from melanoma, and 642 were from other types like basal cell carcinoma.
In truth, skin cancer does not discriminate. Not only does it affect both young and old, but it is also a looming threat all year, every year, regardless of what the weather is like outside. It doesn’t care what the temperature is — which means that you can’t afford to either.
In fact, though it may not initially seem like it, the colder months of the year are actually a great opportunity to get your skin checked for cancer warning signs for a number of critical reasons that are absolutely worth exploring. Rest assured that being vigilant in this way may very well be the decision that ends up saving your life (or that of someone close to you).
Reason #1: Tanned Skin Is Damaged Skin
Maybe the best reason why the colder months of the year are a great opportunity to have your skin checked actually has less to do with the colder months themselves and more to do with what occurred right before them.
Simply put, you may love the way you look with a nice tan during the summer, but a tanned skin is a damaged skin. End of story.
You’re far more likely to have a tan during the summer by virtue of the fact that you’re outside more — meaning, you’re also less likely to notice small issues that may be indicative of a much larger problem just waiting to develop down the road.
During the winter months, on the other hand, you’re probably spending far less time outdoors. This means that your skin is less traumatised, which ultimately makes it easier for both you and your doctors to spot issues during a check-up in the name of skin cancer detection.
Reason #2: Skin Cancer Warning Signs Don’t Develop Overnight
Many people don’t realise that melanoma and other forms of skin cancer don’t develop the instant you experience skin damage or other trauma. These things can take a long, long time to show symptoms. That is, if they develop into any obvious symptoms at all.
The fact of the matter is that skin lesions from summer sun damage can take months or even years to appear. This means that by virtue of the fact that you’re checking yourself during a colder month as opposed to a warmer month to begin with, the more likely you are to actually realise that something is wrong.
Reason #3: It All Comes Back to Your Clothes
Finally, one of the major advantages of having a skin cancer check-up performed during the colder months of the year actually has a lot to do with the types of clothing you’re more likely to be wearing during this time.
When the temperatures are scorching hot outside during the summer, you’re probably wearing light clothing to compensate and stay cool. During those colder months of the year, however, you’ve probably “rugged up“ a bit — meaning, you’re more likely wearing pants, jackets, sweatshirts, and items of that nature.
Because of this, you’re actually far less likely to casually come across a skin cancer problem sign because less of your skin is exposed for months at a time. Therefore, making an effort to get your skin checked during this time not only brings with it the two key benefits outlined above, but it also forces you to examine yourself during a time when it probably wouldn’t otherwise be on your mind.
MoleMap: Because Skin Cancer Doesn’t Take a Holiday
At MoleMap, we understand that skin cancer is a problem that not only affects a massive amount of Australians, but it does so 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Just because the cold winter months have arrived doesn’t mean that skin cancer will take a sabbatical.
If anything, you need to be more vigilant during the winter because the issues developed over the summer may finally be starting to rear their ugly heads.
Developed in partnership with IBM and the Melanoma Institute of Australia, MoleMap was designed to be the most sophisticated and accurate tool for the detection of skin cancer available worldwide today.
Find out your risk for melanoma and other types of skin cancer with our risk calculator. Alternatively, if you’d just like to discuss the major issues associated with skin cancer with someone in a little more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch — contact MoleMap today.