Two hundred patients were provided with free beachside skin checks this past weekend to help detect melanomas.
The checks are part of the Hunter Melanoma Foundation’s Spot Check campaign, which is an ongoing effort to help detect and fight melanoma on Newcastle’s beaches over summer.
Out of the 200 patients that went under examination, 88 skin cancers were discovered, as well as 11 possible melanomas.
Hunter Melanoma Foundation Chief Executive, Claudia Tolhurst, said she was pleased that the public took the time to get checked.
“We had people from all different age groups and skin types popping into our Spot Check clinic over the weekend,” she said.
“It was wonderful to see so many people taking time out of their day to look after their skin.
“When you look at the results from the weekend, 88 skin cancers were found, [of] which 11 were possible melanomas.
“It really puts in perspective the importance of protecting your skin from the sun and getting regular skin checks.”
The pop-up check stations were conducted at the Cooks Hill Surf Club, in partnership with doctors from Newcastle Skin Check, who used specialised software in order to determine the presence of possibly cancerous spots.
People who presented with spots received a referral from the medical team to receive further inspection.
Hunter Surf Life Saving President, Henry Scruton, said the Spot Check campaign would raise public awareness of the importance of protecting your skin and getting checked.
“People weren’t aware of the devastating affects melanoma had back in the day,” he said.
“Now, sun safety is a crucial part of our surf life saving training.
“The Spot Check campaign will hopefully increase education within our region of the prevention methods of melanoma and the importance of getting your skin checked.”
In 2016, 14,485 new cases of melanoma of the skin were diagnosed in Australia, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates more than 16,000 cases will be detected this year.
The Hunter Melanoma Foundation will be conducting their next pop-up spot check clinic on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December.
Visit hmf.org.au for more information.