In May, during Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and part of this year's Global Coalition work, Melanoma UK will be shining a light on a new public awareness campaign, #becauseIcheckedmyskin, to highlight the scale of unidentified melanoma during the last two years of the COVID pandemic and urges the UK public to get into the habit of conducting monthly skin self-examinations.

A global survey of over 700 dermatologists, conducted during the first year of the Covid pandemic, suggested a third (33.6%) of professional skin exams were missed due to lockdowns. As a result, dermatologists estimate that a fifth (21%) of early-stage melanoma may have gone undiagnosed compared with normal years. When these numbers are compared with recognised incidence rates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 130,375 melanoma have been missed globally, and 8,089 in the UK.

Thanks to Covid, national lockdowns and pressure on healthcare systems mean other diseases, including potentially deadly melanoma, have gone undetected and untreated.  So the need for people to check their skin regularly has never been more important.

While we want people to be clear about the dangers of melanoma, we want our Skin Check campaign to be positive.  For most people, the lifting of restrictions hopefully comes with renewed hope for what our futures may hold. 

Our campaign, therefore, encourages people to protect the ‘Future YOU’, and preserve life’s special moments, by checking their skin every month.”

During the year we will continue to grow this campaign and we would love you to get involved.

Whatever you have succeeded in doing #becauseyoucheckedyourskin we want to hear from you. Whether it be the Father of the bride, holding your grandchild, or seeing your son take his first step, please let us know.

We need your help because sharing a memory, big or small, will help so many people dealing with a melanoma diagnosis. 

GET INVOLVED - SHARE A MEMORY OR SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE BECAUSE #YOUCHECKEDYOURSKIN

Melanoma is one of the few cancers we can see for ourselves.  That means it’s in our power to catch it early – and if we do that, we stand a better chance of beating it.  So, as we emerge from the Covid pandemic and consider what our ‘new normal’ looks like, let’s all make sure it includes a 10-minute monthly skin check.

Some useful Skin Check tools have been created as part of the campaign:

  1. A voice-activated digital assistant ‘Skin Check’ app – Available (in English, Spanish and Italian) on Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant platform, the app guides people through what to look for, and the seven steps for conducting a full-body skin exam. The assistant finishes by offering to set a recurring monthly reminder for the exam. To use the Alexa app, it should first be enabled by saying “Alexa, enable Skin Check” to your Alexa device, then simply “Alexa, open Skin Check”. To use the Google App, just say “Hey Google, talk to Skin Check”.
  2. A skin self-exam video – Similar in scope to the app, the video covers the ABCD&E warning signs of melanoma and the seven steps for checking the body. Pauses between the seven steps have been included in the film so that the viewer can simply take their phone or tablet into a bathroom, hit play, and follow the instructions in real-time. The video is available at Skin Self-Examination Video
  3. SkinVision App - Perform regular self-checks for skin cancer with your phone using the SkinVision app. SkinVision is a premium, paid for medical service that helps you assess skin spots and moles for the most common types of skin cancer. Take a photo of the skin spot with your smartphone and you receive a risk indication by SkinVisions clinically validated technology within 30 seconds. SkinVision will provide recommendations on the next steps to take, including whether to visit a healthcare professional.

We want people to remember that the chances of beating melanoma are hugely increased if it is detected and treated early. So, there’s never been a better time to introduce a monthly skin self-exam into your routine.

Make it part of your new normal it could be a 10-minute habit that saves your life. We have lots of tools to help you carry out a skin self-examination

CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS TO OUR SKIN SELF-EXAMINATION TOOLKIT

Join us, get involved and protect the FUTURE YOU!

Gill & Diane 

Downloadable Support Materials available - click here