In New Zealand almost 70,000 new skin cancer cases are confirmed annually. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of these skin cancers making up to 80% of this group, followed by Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) making up to 20% and deadly Malignant Melanoma (MM) killing 300+ New Zealanders annually according to the Cancer Society of NZ.

Like most cancers, it is best to diagnose these early for the best outcome.

Prevention and avoidance of the Sun’s deadly ultraviolet rays in prevention of skin cancer. However, if recreation takes you outside, then barrier protection is best, like hats, clothing and other external shade. However in situations like swimming, ensure that the exposed skin is covered with the highest Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating possible (at least SPF 50) and ensure that it is broad spectrum, covering both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. This causes damage to the skin which is cumulative and is known to be a direct cause of skin cancer and aging.

An annual skin cancer check is the best way to look for any cancers. You can do this with the help of another person looking at every part of the body for new or unusual spots of any colour for example, red, black, brown, bluish/grey.

If there is any doubt, Health-i-care can provide a skin cancer check for you.