Complacent Kiwis at Risk of Skin Cancer
Posted by Fleur Revell
Skin Cancer expert Dr Issac Cranshaw warns that Kiwis are putting their lives in danger by not having moles checked throughout the year.
Medical experts say New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk of developing skin cancer by not having moles checked and treated year round.
Skin cancer specialist Mr Isaac Cranshaw, of Auckland’s Skin Institute, says while some take onboard the sun-smart message during summer, many get complacent with their skin protection during winter.
Recent research* commissioned by the Skin Institute shows more than a quarter (27%) of men rarely or never wear sunscreen.
“If this is happening in summer when the sun is at its harshest then you’ve got to believe it’s happening during the colder months,” says Mr Cranshaw
The survey also revealed that more than half of the respondents (52%) had never had a mole checked by a medical practitioner.
Mr Cranshaw says the results are worrying because skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand. Every year around 60,000 new cases are reported, with the disease responsible for over 250 deaths annually.
“Neglecting an abnormal mole can be potentially life threatening,” says Mr Cranshaw. “In Auckland alone we see 150 patients a year who will fall into that category. People still seem to trivialise skin cancer, so the number of cases continues to rise.”
The good news though is that nearly all skin cancers can be cured, if detected early enough, so it’s important to keep a vigilant watch of your skin year round, says Mr Cranshaw.