• The more of the above SCAN features a spot or mole has, the more concerning it may be. (e.g. a NEW mole that is CHANGING in appearance and that is ABNORMAL is one that should be checked by a doctor urgently.)
  • Most people have made all their moles by the time they are 40. A new mole after this age is more suspicious, and the older you are the more suspicious a new mole is.
  • If you do find a spot or mole of concern, see your doctor for either a “spot check”, or a full skin check.
  • Become familiar with the spots and moles on your skin. You should check your own, and/or your partner’s, skin regularly.

It’s your doctor’s job to diagnose skin cancer, but you will know better than anyone else if something on your skin is new or changing – two important early warning signs. Remember – together with sun protection, early detection is your best defence against skin cancer.

How often to look: you should check your own skin every three months you should have your skin checked with your GP or at our skin cancer clinic once every year or as advised by your Doctor.

How to look: remember to check, your face, neck and ears, scalp, front and back of torso, buttocks, arms, legs, hands, palms, feet, soles, and between fingers and toes and finger and toe nails it may help to use a hand held mirror you may also like to ask your partner or a person you trust to help you look in areas such as your back and scalp which you often cannot see.

Who is at risk? You have a greater risk of developing skin cancer if you have:

  • spent your childhood in Australia
  • a large number of moles
  • ever suffered from sunburn
  • fair skin that burns easily and does not tan
  • blue or green eyes
  • fair or red hair
  • been diagnosed with a melanoma in the past
  • a family history of melanoma