Skin can­cer doesn’t hi­ber­nate

Central Leader - - News -

It’s a scary fact that New Zealand has the high­est melanoma death rate in the world, that’s why it’s so im­por­tant to get moles checked out even if they look “nor­mal”.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, skin can­cer is not a “sum­mer thing” and it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that skin can­cer has no re­spect for age or sea­son and melanomas are reg­u­larly de­tected in the win­ter months.

Dr An­dre Oer­tel from the Skin Can­cer Clinic in Re­muera says: “Skin can­cer doesn’t hi­ber­nate in win­ter. Al­though many skin can­cers are treat­able many are not. Melanoma in par­tic­u­lar is not al­ways in­stantly recog­nis­able and it can de­velop very quickly – weeks to months. Melanoma is ag­gres­sive and can be fa­tal.”

The Skin Can­cer Clinic is set in a re­laxed clinic en­vi­ron­ment known as Health Link Clinic and of­fers the latest mole map­ping tech­nol­ogy. When used, it gives an up-close and mag­ni­fied view of the client’s mole, age spot, etc, and helps give an ac­cu­rate di­ag­no­sis.

If a sus­pect spot is de­tected it can be im­me­di­ately re­moved and sent for a biopsy.

If you find you have a mole that has changed or a sore that has not healed and think “I’ll get it checked out some­time”, don’t de­lay, get it checked out as soon as pos­si­ble.

Dr Oer­tel strongly rec­om­mends 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 would be wise. Of course if any­body has doubts about a spot then it should be checked im­me­di­ately.”

So don’t be fooled by Jack Frost and win­ter, skin can­cer can oc­cur any time. Take pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures by wear­ing sun­screen year round and get moles checked out by Dr Oer­tel and the team at the Skin Can­cer Clinic, Health Link Clinic; at 99 Re­muera Rd, (cnr Re­muera Rd and St Marks Rd, Re­muera).

Free Park­ing on site. Phone 522-7292.

Be safe: Kim Baker, Dr An­dre Oer­tel and Ten­nessee O’Don­ald show­case the latest tech­nol­ogy to help com­bat skin can­cer.

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