I finally bit the bullet and got my skin checked yesterday for skin cancer. I’d been putting it off for a while, and have secretly been worried about a large freckle on my nose (of all places!).
I’m a pale red-head, with lots of freckles, who has probably been burnt too many times in her life. It doesn’t help that I live in Western Australia, where the ozone layer is incredibly damaged, and the sun can be incredibly harsh. You can actually burn after just 10 minutes in the sun here. That is not good at all. I used to try and stay inside all of the time – but I became a bit of a hermit, so I now live my life more, but admit that I need to be more ‘sun smart’.
Lucky for me, the new place I work had arranged for a specialist to visit to check us all out – if we wanted to – free of charge. Fabulous idea, and it possibly pushed a few of us to confront our fears.
With great relief I can announce that I have no worrisome freckles or moles. If only I had gotten my freckles checked sooner, I wouldn’t have spent all this time worrying. And realistically, I should have got checked earlier, as if any of them had been cancerous – that would have been even worse.
In reading one of the pamphlets I got with the ‘goody bag’ I was given after my skin check (don’t you just love goody bags!), it’s terrifying to read the statistics:
‘Australia has THE highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Every yeah over 440,000 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer and over 1,700 people will die from the disease. Western Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in Australia.’
I encourage you all to go and get your freckles and moles checked, even if you think you are okay, for you never know what is lying there under the surface.
For more information visit www.cancerwa.asn.au