The Fono

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Being Sun Smart to avoid melanoma

As we go into the final official month of the New Zealand summer, let’s all remember to be sun smart rather than run the risk of heat-related illnesses such as burns, heat stroke and with prolonged exposure - skin cancer. Slip, slop, slap and wrap for the rest of the summer with The Fono’s sun smart tips.

For a country notorious for its Four Seasons in One Day reputation, New Zealand has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world with almost 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

It’s the most common cancer in Aotearoa.

Skin cancers are commonly put into two groups - melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, with melanoma being the most dangerous. In fact in recent years, more New Zealanders have died from melanoma than have died on our roads.

But that’s the bad news. The good news is that melanoma is not only preventable, it’s treatable.

It’s important to be sun smart all the time, as sunburn at any age and high doses of sun exposure increases the risk of melanoma in later life.

Kiwi summers usually see us at the beach, or park... even when at home when we’re playing a bit of backyard rugby or cricket.

Protect your skin against UV radiation by following these simple rules:

  • Slip on a long-sleeved collared shirt or slip into the shade
  • Slop on sunscreen that is at least SPF30, broad spectrum and water resistant
  • Slap on a broad brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • Wrap on close fitting sunglasses

These are the best ways to prevent possible melanoma.

Watch out for melanoma

If melanoma is recognised and treated early enough it is almost always curable.

Watch out for unusual skin changes or spots/moles different from the others. Always get them checked by your doctor.

Melanoma is treatable by your doctor, so if you notice any changes in your skin that look odd, make an appointment at one of our branches today!

For more information