Some of you will be familiar with the Sun Smart jingle Slip, Slop, Slap – slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen lotion, slap on a hat. Well sometimes that is not enough and you have to add Singe & Slice!
One of the good and bad things about our live aboard lifestyle is that we are exposed to the elements, notably the sun. With Australia and New Zealand having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, we have to take precautions. Up to now we have tended to do skin checks ourselves and with our GP… Over time we have had a few spots burnt off and Wade has had a couple of BCC (basal cell carcinoma) removed.
But our lifestyle is such that we are prone to more sun damage and can’t afford “nasties” to develop. It can also be difficult to know whether something on your skin is a harmless mole, or “normal” sun damage, or a sign of cancer. So although self-examination is good practice, consulting a skin specialist is advisable.
On our first of what will be regular visits to Solaris Skin Clinic in Mooloolaba, Wade got a spot in his ear treated with liquid nitrogen and I ended up with a biopsy for a suspect freckle under my breast which turned out to be all clear so I got off lightly.
There are some changes to look out for when checking your skin for signs of any cancer, as recommended by Cancer Council Australia and if in doubt, go and see the professionals:
- New moles
- Moles that increase in size
- An outline of a mole that becomes irregular
- A spot that changes colour or displays several colours
- A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it
- The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated
So a shout out to all our followers who are exposed to lots of sun, and even to those who are not, have your skin checked regularly. It might save you a lot of grief. The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better the chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of serious melanoma, potential disfigurement or even death. We are now on the Solaris six monthly check list! What about you?