New Zealand has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, so it’s important to regularly have skin cancer checks carried out by a qualified professional.
Important risk factors include gender (men are at a greater risk than women); skin colour; eye/hair colour; number of moles; types of moles; family history of skin cancer; UV exposure; and age.
If you are aged over 40 and grew up in New Zealand, you are also more at risk, as it is likely sun protection wasn’t greatly valued during your childhood. Being sun smart is relatively new in this country, despite our high UV index.
If you are aged 60 plus, checking your skin regularly is particularly important as you are at greater risk of basal and squamous cell cancers.
Young people, who take medication that suppresses their immune system, are also much more susceptible to skin cancers such as melanoma, and basal and squamous cell cancers. If you take immunosuppressants, such as Humira and Azathioprine, you need to have your skin checked annually.
Having regular mole checks at our Mole Screen clinic will help to ensure that any skin cancer is captured early and effectively treated.