Skin Cancer Myths

If a mole is raised or has hair in it then it is safe.

This is totally untrue.  One of the most dangerous types of melanoma is nodular melanoma and it is raised.  Hair can definately be present in skin cancer.


I have olive skin so I don't need to get a skin check.

Untrue.  Skin type does influence your risk of skin cancer.  Fairer types of skin are at higher risk, BUT, total UV exposure and frequent sunburns as a child are also risks and are not negated by your skin type being olive.


My legs never see the sun so I don't need to get them checked.

Untrue. Sundamage to the skin influences the DNA of ALL the skin cells.  The most common place for females to get melanoma is the leg, even though it may never see the sun.


I practice good sun protection now so I don't need a skin check.

Untrue.  UV radiation causes IRREVERSIBLE damage to the skin.  The skin is most sensitive to UV radiation when you are a child, the damage sustained in those years stays with you for life.  Hence, the number of childhood sunburns is a significant risk factor for developing skin cancer.


My moles have been there for my whole life and aren't changing so I don't need a skin check.

Wrong.  Most melanomas do not come from a pre-existing mole.  They are derived from normal skin.  Hence, it is crucial to pay close attention to NEW lesions, not just the old ones.

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