Free skin check a life saver

Cecilia AllenSound Telegraph
Rockingham resident Cathy Fletcher and Rockingham Maternity and Family Practice practice manager Jessica Neal are encouraging people to attend a free skin check day on Saturday.
Camera IconRockingham resident Cathy Fletcher and Rockingham Maternity and Family Practice practice manager Jessica Neal are encouraging people to attend a free skin check day on Saturday.

A Rockingham resident who had a brush with skin cancer is encouraging others to have regular checks and to take advantage of a free skin check day on Saturday.

Cathy Fletcher received the news she had a melanoma on her upper back earlier this year after her daughter insisted she get it checked.

The melanoma was removed before causing further ill-health but some people are not so lucky, according to Rockingham Maternity and Family Practice’s practice manager Jessica Neal.

“Cathy had previously had her melanoma checked elsewhere and it wasn’t picked up,” she said.

“It’s lucky it was slow growing and that her daughter got her to come in for an appointment. Some people aren’t so lucky.

“A lot of places offer skin checks but it’s really important to check the doctor’s credentials to see if they specialise in detecting skin cancer and to make sure they have a dematoscope.”

Ms Fletcher said she encouraged others to get their skin checked regularly, even if they did not think it was necessary.

“We didn’t wear sunscreen when I was younger, we weren’t educated, whereas people are more aware these days,” she said.

Rockingham Maternity and Family Practice is hosting a free skin check day on Saturday between 8am and 1pm.

Consultations are bulk-billed and attendees only need to bring their Medicare card.

All profits made on the day go directly to non-profit organisation melanomaWA.

Ms Neal said at last year’s free skin check day, three melanomas were detected, along with more than 20 other skin cancers.

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