An Australian woman has shown just how unassuming skin cancer can be while encouraging others to get their skin checked.
Louise Hay, who has a 24,000-strong Instagram following, used her platform to share an important public service announcement – get your skin checked regularly – after she had a melanoma removed from her leg.
Ms Hay explained during her most recent skin check an unassuming mole on her leg turned out to be a melanoma.
On Instagram Ms Hay explained since she lost her father to skin cancer last year, she has been ‘super vigilant’ about getting her skin checked.
She explained the tiny mole on her leg was a stage zero melanoma.
“Which basically means it is just on the surface of my skin, which is great - it means they can just cut it out and it will be fine,” she explained in the candid video posted earlier this year, after she just got the mole removed.
According to the Cancer Council, skin cancer accounts for 80 per cent of Australia’s cancer diagnoses every year and it is estimated two in three Aussies will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they’re 70.
The leading cause of melanoma is sun exposure, and Australia has one of the highest rate of incidence in the world.
Ms Hay used the opportunity to remind her followers to get their skin checked.
“I know everyone thinks they’re invincible and they think it’s never going to happen to them – please, please, go and get your skin checked,” she pleaded.
She suggested teaming up with friends, writing it in the diary to all get checked every year.
“I thought it would happen to me until my dad got diagnosed last year,” she explained.
“It’s crazy to think I never would have gone for a skin check, I never would have found the melanoma that I did today had my dad not gotten sick last year.
“It’s so crazy to me, it’s like he’s still looking after me.”
In an update, Ms Hay said she was so happy to hear many people went and got their skin checked after she made the Instagram stories.
There are ways to prevent getting skin cancer, like a combination of sun protective measures.
The Cancer Council recommends wearing sun-protective clothing, which covers most of your skin, sunglasses and a hat, putting on broad spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside, and reapplying every two hours and seeking shade is possible.
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