Awareness is key to the prevention and early detection of cancer. But which symptoms should be most in focus at each life-stage? Lisa Rabbaque investigates.
Why at this age? Melanoma is one of the biggest medical killers of younger Australians, says professor John Thompson, director of the Melanoma Institute Australia, so it’s important to know the warning signs.
- Avoid sunburn at all costs. Professor Thompson suggests using physical UV barriers like protective clothing, a hat and staying in the shade, especially between 10am and 3pm.
- When out in the sun, cover up and wear a waterproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+.
- Don’t think a solarium is safer. There’s very strong evidence linking sun beds to melanoma and other types of skin cancers.
- Professor Thompson advises checking your skin for changes once a month, enlisting the help of a partner to check those bits you can’t see yourself. “People who have a personal or family history of melanoma or those with lots of moles should have their skin regularly checked by a professional,” he adds.