'Don't let a spot become a full stop'
FMG has partnered with Melanoma New Zealand to prevent avoidable deaths and suffering from melanoma by helping to share Melanoma New Zealand’s key prevention and early detection messages, education, and advice through its connections into rural communities.
This includes having tools and information from Melanoma NZ at events like A&P shows and community events. At larger regional field days we’ll also have Melanoma NZ along to perform spot checks and talk about the best ways to keep rural New Zealand safe and well.
New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world and those who work outside are exposed to up to 10 times the UV light as our friends who work indoors, so it’s important to us that we support rural New Zealand by helping spread the word.
"Our farmers and growers are exposed to New Zealand’s harsh sun each day and are among the most at risk of developing melanoma in the country. So it’s critical to us that we support them and others in rural communities in having the information to protect themselves."
FMG Chief Client Officer Glenn Croasdale
Prevention is key
The good news is melanoma is both preventable and curable. If UV index is 3 or higher, you need to be taking steps to protect your skin. You can check the UV index for the day on your weather app.
- Slip into a long-sleeved shirt or pants to cover up skin.
- Slap on a broad-rimmed hat to protect your neck, ears and side of the face.
- Slop on some water-resistant sunscreen (at least SPF 30). You need to apply 9 teaspoons of sunscreen 20 minutes before going into sun and every 2 hours after that. Always check the expiry date on your sunscreen before use – if it’s expired, it will be less effective in protecting you from the sun’s rays.
- Seek out some shade where you can, or bring some portable shade with you while you’re out an about, like an umbrella.
- Slide on some sunnies with UV protection lenses.
Get a skin-check
If spotted early, melanoma can be successfully treated. Self-checks are a great way to get to know your skin so you can notice early if something has changed. If you notice a spot has changed, see your GP or a skin provider as soon as possible.
New Zealand is closest to the sun during our Summer (November to February) which means a higher risk of damaging sun exposure. Every time you burn, you’re more at risk of developing melanoma. If you’ve had a few bad burns this summer, do a self-check to see if there are any spots that have changed shape or size. If there are, get them checked out by a GP
For information on how to conduct a self-check head to Melanoma NZ. For a professional skin-check, chat to your GP for the best advice on providers in your area.
A real client story
It was fortunate that Bay of Plenty Farmer, Jill Blackmore stuck to her guns and convinced her husband Brian to get a spot that she noticed on his back checked.