Why is early detection of skin cancer so important?
Finding skin cancer early saves lives because we are able to stop the metastasis, or spreading, of cancer to other organs or parts of the body. Skin cancer that is detected early is almost always curable.
If caught late, there is a higher chance that it has already spread through the body and affecting other organs. Thin melanomas, less than 1mm, have a 95% 5-year survival rate whereas thick melanomas, more than 4mm, have a 15-20% 5-year survival rate. Recent advances in treatment with immunotherapy have however improved these survival rates.
Performing a self-examination is key to detecting change. You can easily check yourself regularly for new growths or irregular moles - follow the ABCDE mole mapping guide.