When it comes to sun protection, many Australians are not educated on the damage UV rays can do. A recent study from The Cancer Council revealed 9 out of 10 people did not understand the measure of the UV index, and 24 percent of adults thought temperature was the only factor at play. When the UV index is at a level three or more, sun protection is essential regardless of how hot it is. With over 14000 new cases of melanoma being diagnosed each year, and 1900 fatalities associated with this, it is clear the “slip, slop, slap, seek and slide” message is not getting through.
Many people falsely believe they are immune from skin cancer. Maybe they don’t spend much time in the sun, or maybe they haven’t been burnt since their childhood. Regardless, skin cancer does not always look obvious and it could be the tiniest spot on your foot which gets you, and not the big brown mole on your arm. It is because of this that all adults should get in the habit of having regular skin and mole checks. If you have a friend or family member who would benefit from an appointment, here are some tips on how to convince them to take the first step:
The best way to prompt someone you care about to have their skin checked, is by starting the conversation. Almost everybody knows someone who has experienced skin cancer, and it shouldn’t be something we feel uncomfortable discussing. Often people just don’t think, but bringing the topic to the forefront could save a life. Simply asking the question “when did you last have your skin checked?” could be enough. The process is not as daunting as it sounds, and you can explain what to expect at My Skin Centre to make them feel more comfortable.
It is difficult to convince someone to care about their skin’s health, if you don’t do the same. When you act like sun protection and skin and mole checks are the norm, those you care about will likely follow suit. Use sunscreen, always wear a hat and say no to the tanning beds. The next time you have a full body check…offer to take them with you!
Some people avoid having their skin checked due to the cost. It is understandable when you have bills piling up, it can be hard to make your health a priority. If you are trying to convince a friend or family member to take a visit to a skin check clinic, why not offer compensation for their next special occasion. It might not be a fun birthday present, but the peace of mind it will bring will feel better than any box of chocolates or new perfume.
It is important to understand your body and perform skin self examinations in between visits. Ask your loved one to help you check those hard to reach places for abnormalities, such as your scalp and back. You can then offer to do the same which will increase awareness and encourage them to create new habits.
When you have a skin and mole check, spread the word on social media about your experience. You never know who might see and consequently book their own appointment. Participate in community events to help raise awareness and vital funds, such as the Fiona Pike Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign. Keep an eye on the events page from the Cancer Council for upcoming initiatives in Western Australia.
With multiple locations throughout Perth and the South West there is a clinic near you!