Skin Cancer in New Zealand
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand and our skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world. There are three main types of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma.
Malignant Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer, but it has an excellent prognosis if caught early. Though Malignant Melanoma may occur anywhere on your skin, it is found most often on the legs of women or the backs of men. It is usually a brown to black lesion which is not uniform in border, colour or surface. The "ABCDEs of Malignant Melanoma" have been described to help distinguish a regular mole from Malignant Melanoma. The acronym stands for ...
Asymmetry (most healthy moles are uniform)
Colour (irregular or change in)
Diameter (larger than a pencil eraser)
Malignant Melanomas on chronically sun-damaged skin such as the face may appear like a brown patch or freckle with irregular colour.