All Posts Tagged: melanoma

Get your skin checked by a doctor in Pascoe Vale.

It’s ‘Melanoma March’

Melanoma March is an annual awareness and fundraising initiative that funds life-changing melanoma research.

In 2018, there are 20 Melanoma March events taking place across the country. Some participate to remember a loved one whilst others are on their own melanoma journey. All come along in support of finding a cure for melanoma.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which usually occurs on the parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun. Rare melanomas can occur in parts of the skin or body that have never been exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, which along with New Zealand has the world’s highest incidence rate for melanoma.

Melanoma is more commonly diagnosed in men than women. The risk of being diagnosed with melanoma by age 85 is 1 in 13 for men compared to 1 in 22 for women.

This year, more than 14,000 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma. Sadly, around 1,800 will die from the disease.

Melanoma symptoms

Often melanoma has no symptoms. However, the first sign is generally a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot. These changes can include:

  • Colour – a mole may change in colour or have different colour shades or become blotchy
  • Size – a mole may appear to get bigger
  • Shape – a mole may have an irregular border or may increase in height
  • Elevation – the mole may develop a raised area
  • Itching or bleeding.

Other symptoms include dark areas under nails or on membranes lining the mouth, vagina or anus.

New moles and spots will appear and change during childhood, adolescence and during pregnancy and this is normal. However, adults who develop new spots or moles should have them examined by their doctor.

Shannan’s story

Shannan Ponton, from television program The Biggest Loser, thought he was invincible. He wasn’t. But his melanoma battle ended up saving more than his own life.

His melanoma story began on a beach in Bali when his wife spotted a suspicious looking mole on the back of his thigh. She booked him in for a skin check immediately on his return to Sydney. It was melanoma.

Despite undergoing two rounds of surgery and now sporting a 20cm scar, his melanoma hadn’t spread. He was so rattled by his melanoma diagnosis that he immediately called an ‘intervention’ with his mates, inviting 15 of them around to his house for a BBQ.

“I said boys, we all lead a similar lifestyle. I’ve just been diagnosed with melanoma. I want all of you to go and get a skin check,” Shannan recalls.

All 15 mates at Shannan’s intervention that afternoon booked themselves in for skins checks – 2 were subsequently diagnosed with melanoma.

“If it wasn’t for that intervention and that feeling in my gut to go beyond trying to just help, and actually making a difference, those two guys could not be here now,” Shannan added.

Watch Shannan’s story below.

 

Visit the Melanoma March website for more melanoma stories, events and to donate.

Get your skin checked at PVH Medical

If you’ve noticed a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot, or you just want a general skin check for your peace of mind, make a booking with a doctor today.

Having a regular skin check could save your life!

 

Source: Melanoma Institute Australia and Cancer Council Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Our doctors in Pascoe Vale can answer any questions you have about skin cancer.

Be SunSmart this summer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia.

Over 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma cancers in Australia each year and over 11,500 people are treated for melanoma cancers.

In 2011, there were more than 2,000 deaths from melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is our main source of Vitamin D, but it is also the major cause of skin cancer. Skin can burn in just 15 minutes in the summer sun.

Skin cancer is largely preventable

Be SunSmart. When the UV level is 3 or above, protect yourself against sun damage and skin cancer by following these steps:

Our doctors in Pascoe Vale can answer any questions you have about skin cancer.

1. Slip on clothing

Cover as much skin as possible, such as shirts with long sleeves and high necks/collars. Wear clothing made from close-weave materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton and linen.

When swimming, wear material such as lycra which stays sun-protective when wet.

2. Slop on sunscreen

Sunscreen is only effective if you apply enough to your body, including your face, 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours outside, and immediately after swimming, towel-drying, or heavy sweating.

It’s best to use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) water-based sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.

3. Slap on a hat

A broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket-style hat provides good protection for the face, nose, neck and ears, which are common sites for skin cancers. Caps and visors do not provide enough protection.

Choose a hat made with closely woven fabric – if you can see through it, UV radiation will get through. Hats may not protect you from reflected UV radiation, so also wear sunglasses and sunscreen.

4. Seek shade

Be UV cautious in the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense. Shade provides good sun protection, but remember that UV rays reflect off surfaces such as sand, water and paving, so use other sun protection measures when in the shade too.

5.  Slide on sunglasses

Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat worn together can reduce UV radiation exposure to the eyes by up to 98%. Sunglasses should be worn outside during daylight hours.

Choose close-fitting, wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067. Sunglasses are as important for children as they are for adults.

Finally…

Check your skin regularly and see your doctor if you notice any unusual skin changes. If you have a lesion that doesn’t heal, or a mole that has suddenly appeared, changed in size, thickness, shape, colour or has started to bleed, see your doctor immediately.

Treatment is more likely to be successful if skin cancer is discovered early. Remember, if you have any concerns or questions, please make an appointment with one of our friendly doctors.

 

Source: Cancer Council Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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