Melanoma - What It Is and Why You Need a Skin Cancer Check
Undeniably, Australia's temperate climatic conditions make it ideal for spending every day under the sun. From beach days to barbies, there is always a reason to have some al fresco fun with friends and family. However, the favourable climatic conditions also highly increase the chances of developing skin cancer. And one of the most destructive forms of skin cancer that you can acquire is melanoma. This piece expounds on what melanoma is as well as illustrate the importance of getting regular skin cancer checks.
What type of skin cancer is melanoma?
Melanoma is cancer that attacks the pigment-creating cells in your skin. Melanoma will usually come about when your skin is continually exposed to ultraviolet radiation. This ultraviolet radiation originates from the sun, but you can also be at risk if you tan frequently. In a few cases, the cancer cells of the melanoma will develop as a mole on your skin. On the other hand, it could also manifest as skin discolourations. While melanoma is highly dangerous, it can be treated if detected early. Thus, it is imperative to not only go for routine skin cancer checks but also be aware of how to check for any oddities on your body on your own.
How can you inspect for melanoma?
One of the first things you should be wary about is the onset of suspicious dark spots on your body. You should also be concerned about pre-existing moles that are changing colour. The second thing to be on the lookout for this is the symmetry, or asymmetry, of the mole or discolouration. If the growth has an uneven border or if the sides are of equal length, it is judicious to have it checked out by a dermatologist. Lastly, melanoma is typically associated with two main colours: black and brown. Therefore, if your discolourations have any of these hues, you should be on the safe side and have the issue checked out.
How can you prevent melanoma?
Several measures can be employed to diminish your risk of developing melanoma. It is compulsory, to begin with, to apply sunscreen always when sending several hours under direct sunlight. Secondly, you may want to consider wearing long-sleeved clothing when outdoors, particularly in the throes of summer. Thirdly, while it is judicious for everybody to have a skin cancer check at least annually, it is especially essential for individuals that have a history of cancer in their family or people that have multiple moles on their body.