If it doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t.
Ian had played cricket since he was a kid so had spent a lot of time in the sun in the days before sun safety was such a priority. Working in the construction industry in an office-based role, it had been years since Ian had been regularly exposed to the sun at work. Prior to that he’d worked as a Police officer where he would spend days in patrol vehicles wearing a short sleeved uniform shirt. After having several basal cell carcinoma (BCC) skin cancers cut from his arms, Ian switched to the long sleeve uniform option and had remained very conscious of protecting his skin from the sun.
In 2017 when he was 47, Ian noticed a new skin spot on his right thigh*. It was relatively small, about half the size of his little finger nail, and pink in colour. It seemed to appear overnight so Ian made a point of booking an appointment with his local GP straight away.
Ian’s GP cut out the unusual-looking pink spot straight away and sent a sample away for testing. Ian’s GP later called to let him know his test results indicated it was a melanoma and because of this it was routine to cut a larger diameter around the spot to be safe. Ian didn’t hesitate to book in for this second procedure and he’s been well ever since.
‘Don’t be afraid to go to your doctor or seek out advice’.
Checking your own skin
Skin cancers can grow quickly, so it’s important to become familiar with your own skin (including skin not normally exposed to the sun) through regular self-checks. Find out the steps and some examples of what to look for.
Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any new or changed spots, moles or freckles. Changes to look out for include shape, colour or size.
* Some rare types of melanoma can appear on areas of skin which don’t receive direct sun exposure.