One of the most common of skin cancers, and one of the most aggressive of all cancers, is melanoma, which is diagnosed more in more than 5000 cases in men in Australia every year. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause.
- Any growth or change in shape and colour of moles
- Exposure to UV rays and often from sunburn
- Repeated exposure to x-rays and industrial compounds like coal tar and arsenic
- Unusually shaped moles
- Depressed immune system
- Fair skin
- Family history.
You can reduce your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers if you:
- Minimise sun exposure, especially between 10am and 3pm
- Wear sun-protective clothing – hat, sunglasses, shirts
- Apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially on high-risk days or between 10am and 3pm
- Avoid tanning bed/solariums
- Book check-ups for skin/moles with a GP regularly.