Low­er­ing the odds of get­ting skin can­cer

Auckland City Harbour News - - Health & Beauty -

The long, bril­liant sum­mer with its ex­tended day­light sav­ing brought with it lighter evenings, more sun, faster burn times - and the in­creased risk of melanomas and other skin can­cers.

How­ever, there are those who mis­tak­enly think skin can­cer is the curse of only out­door work­ers, ex­ces­sive sun­bathers and older peo­ple.

“On the con­trary,” says Dr An­dre Oer­tel of the New Zealand Skin Can­cer Clinic in Re­muera.

“Any­one, any­where can de­velop melanoma or skin can­cer at any time.

“Over the sum­mer months we have di­ag­nosed mul­ti­ple melanomas which were life­sav­ing for so many peo­ple.”

The youngest per­son that Dr Oer­tel has seen with a milig­nant melanoma was 14 years of age, but even chil­dren as young as four years old have been de­tected in melanoma clin­ics. “Skin can­cer has no re­spect for age or sea­son, and re­mem­ber, not all are treat­able,” he says.

Dr Oer­tel re­minds peo­ple to cover up, es­pe­cially when out in the sun for any length of time, re­gard­less of whether one is ly­ing on the beach, gar­den­ing, or putting a roof on a house.

It’s all about low­er­ing the odds of de­vel­op­ing skin can­cer.

Be­cause New Zealand has one of the high­est melanoma death rates in the world, and be­cause he knows melanoma can de­velop in as lit­tle as weeks to months, Dr Oer­tel rec­om­mends that mole checks and mole map­ping be a stan­dard part of ev­ery­one’s health pro­gramme, in­clud­ing chil­dren.

An an­nual check is usu­ally suf­fi­cient. How­ever, where there is a his­tory of skin can­cer ei­ther per­son­ally or in the wider fam­ily, then a six-monthly check-up would be wise.

Of course, if any­one has doubts about a spot, it should be checked im­me­di­ately.

While skin can­cer de­tec­tions re­mains the fo­cus of his clinic, Dr Oer­tel also car­ries a range of di­etary sup­ple­ments and skin care prod­ucts and of­fers ap­pear­ance medicine, in par­tic­u­lar Bo­tox in­jec­tions.

For a mole check or skin con­sul­ta­tion, con­tact Dr Oer­tel at the Skin Can­cer Clinic, 99 Re­muera Rd, just up from New­mar­ket.

Phone 522-8181 or 522-9292.

Friendly con­sul­tancy: From left, Kim Baker, Dr An­dre Oer­tel and Ten­nessee O’Don­nell at the Skin Can­cer Clinic on Re­muera Rd.

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