After sun-protection, regular self skin examination is the next most important thing you can do yourself to fight skin cancer.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.  Skin cancer can kill, but if it is identified and treated very early, complete cure can almost always be achieved.  Additionally, the earlier changes are identified, the smaller the cancer is, and the more minor the required treatment. 

Using this simple Self Skin Examination technique, you can play a major part in your own early detection.  It is easy, quick, and it’s free.  You don’t have to be a skin cancer expert – but you will become an expert in your own skin.  This knowledge will contribute to your regular dermatologist skin checks. 

Using the downloadable pdf file below, follow the pictorial guide to check your own skin four times per year.  Skin cancer can be divided into melanoma and non-melanoma types.  The two separate tables illustrate the warning signs of each broad type of tumour.

Given recent study data (see the News section), possibly just the D for different (the 'ugly duckling' sign) is the most important of all. So, if you remember nothing else - look out for ugly-duckling moles that look different from anything else on your skin.

Encourage your friends and family to do their own quarterly skin checks.  Feel free to forward a link to this page.  You could save a life.