Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Melanoma Myths

The facts you should know!

Most people are aware that melanoma is a form of skin cancer but many don't realise that it's not like the other forms of skin cancer and the following are some common beliefs about melanoma that are incorrect.

1. You only get melanoma where you've got sunburn: NOT TRUE

Melanoma does most commonly occur on sun-exposed skin, but it can grow just about anywhere - on the soles of your feet, the roof of your mouth, in your eyes, under your nails and in your sinuses or genital areas.

2. Only those who spend a lot of time in the sun are at risk: NOT TRUE

Although it is true that exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases our risk of melanoma - with more than 80% of melanoma caused by the sun - intermittent strong exposure to UV is more likely to damage skin cells and cause melanoma compared to getting a small amount of sun exposure every day. People who live in hot climates have a greater risk, but those who live in cooler climates aren't necessarily safe as temperature does not necessarily correlate with radiation - you can have cool weather with high UV.

3. Melanoma is something only older people get: NOT TRUE

Your chances of developing melanoma do increase with age however young people do get melanoma aswell. In fact, melanoma is the most common cause of cancer death in young Australians. 

4. People with dark skin don't get skin cancer: NOT TRUE

Good sun protection is just as important for people with dark skin even though they may never burn and their risk of melanoma is lower than that of people with fair skin, they are still at risk of getting skin cancer. 

So make sure you are sun safe when your in the sun whether it's hot or cold! Remember melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in NSW.

And ensure your life insurance policies are in place in case this were to happen to you!

Source: Hunter Melanoma Foundation - PipsNPieces May 2012

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