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How often should I have a skin check for cancer?

How often should I have a skin check for cancer?

Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of skin cancer in the World. By the age of 70, two in every three Australians are expected to have encountered issues with melanoma and non-melanoma related skin cancer.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has reported that 780,000 skin cancers were diagnosed and treated in 2010 alone. The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, estimate that around 14,000 Australians were diagnosed with Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer in 2017.

There is a strong body of evidence to suggest that by proactively getting a skin check for skin cancer reduces mortality rates. One example includes a programme that was undertaken in 2003 in Northern Germany where 360,000 skin checks were completed. As a result of this programme, over 3,000 malignant skin tumours were identified and treated. Five years later it was reported that melanoma mortality had reduced by over 50%.

But surely not everyone needs to go for a skin check with the same regularity? It is true that individuals with a certain profile are likely to be more susceptible to the risk of skin cancer.

The RACGP advocates its members that they recommend annual skin checks for those deemed high-risk and a skin check every two years for those considered medium-risk. The RACGP also highlights the benefits of self-examination on an ongoing basis.

A high-risk person, that is someone who should have annual skin checks, includes an individual who has one of the following characteristics:

  • red hair
  • type 1* skin over the age of 45 
  • type 2* skin over the age of 65 
  • a family history of melanoma
  • a personal history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer

A medium-risk person, who should have a skin check every two years, includes an individual who has one of the following characteristics:

  • blue eyes
  • type 1* skin between the ages of 25-45
  • type 2* skin between the ages of 45-65
  • type 3* skin over the age of 65
  • a family history of non-melanoma skin cancer
  • a personal history of episodic sunburns 

Solbari recommends that individuals are proactive in assessing their own skin as well as visiting a skin-doctor or dermatologist regularly as early detection prevents skin cancer and melanoma. 

Dermatologists recommend UPF sun protection clothing as the best preventative measure against UV overexposure and skin cancer. Solbari offers an award-winning range of UPF50+ sun protective clothing, sun hats and accessories.

* You can read about skin types on our blog by clicking on this link: https://www.solbari.com.au/blogs/solbari-blog/skin-type-1-what-does-it-mean

You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below

Women UPF 50+
Men UPF 50+
Sun Hats UPF 50+
Accessories UPF 50+
SPF 50+ Sunscreen
Skin Check App

The Solbari Team
This blog is for information purposes only, always consult a medical professional.



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