A very important health reminder to every over 60 18



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No matter where in Australia you’ve grown up, it’s likely that your childhood – and even adulthood – was filled with sunny days, running around outside, without a hat, a shirt or sunscreen. They were the golden days, but now we’re being punished in one of the cruelest ways.

Research from the Cancer Council Queensland, the most skin cancer prone state in Australia, has identified that one age group of Australians are at higher risk of melanoma than any other. If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re in it! It’s the age 60-64 year old, with just over one melanoma case being diagnosed every day in this age bracket.

Earlier this year, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration announced it approved the breakthrough melanoma drug, Keytruda – a drug with a 74 per cent survival rate after one year of use compared with the 58 per cent survival rate of existing drugs. Melanoma medication was last night officially added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme giving people easier access to it.

You can never be too proactive when it comes to your health and as we get older – especially if we’re in the high risk age bracket, it’s important to conduct self checks and know what to do if we find something unusual.

According to the Cancer Council Queensland, there are a variety of things to look for when you conduct a self-check. These things include:

  • New moles;
  • Moles that increases in size;
  • An outline of a mole that becomes notched;
  • A spot that changes colour from brown to black or is varied;
  • A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it;
  • The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated;
  • Moles that itch or tingle;
  • Moles that bleed or weep; or
  • Spots that look different from the others

You should check everywhere over your body, but hands, arms, shoulders and the face are particularly common areas. And if you find anything you’re concerned or worried about, it’s important to book in and see your GP right away.


Tell us, have you had troubles with skin cancer before? Have you had any spots removed or undergone treatment for it? Share your own stories with us in the comments below… 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My husband died 3 years ago, at the age of 53, from melanoma. It’s just not having the melanomas cut out, it’s where it metastasises to. My husband had it attack his spine and he became a paraplegic before he died. Horrible disease.

  2. It’s a horrible thing!!! My husband had one cut out last year!!!! Regular checks !! That’s all we can do @ the moment!!! He travels 3000klms. Every 4 mths. ToThe Melanoma Clinic in Sydney!!! We live in FNQ!!!! Anything to live?????

  3. I am 67 and have lost count of the dozens I have had cut out, burnt off or scraped out. I have just finished 2 wks of Efudex cream which nas turned my face into a pizza. Now for it to all dry up, get scaly sores and lift off the loads of sun damaged spots. I can only hope that regular checks and treatment can keep up with them.!!

    2 REPLY
    • You and me both girl! But we didn’t have all of those super duper sun blocks in our early days and we were kinda outdoor gals!

  4. In 1982 my husband was given 3 months to live because he had a Melanoma. The mole had been on the inside of his thigh (just above the knee). He was put on an experimental drug to boost his immune system. It returned (in the groin) 12mths later which entailed major surgery into his pelvis to remove Lympth nodes – 20+ were removed and all clear. Our youngest child was 18 mths old. My husband changed his diet to natural & wholesome and decreased salt, sugar. He stopped coffee and red meat. Last week he turned 70 and is fabulously fit and well and medication free. I believe that if the mole had been on his trunk he would not be here. His mental attitude, affirmation and meditation also helped along with my support and enduring love.

    1 REPLY
  5. Hubby has had dozens of skin cancers scraped burned cut from hands arms face,some requiring skin grafts, all due to growing up without hats or shirts . He is under the care of a specialist in skin cancer. I have been checked and am lucky never had any so far..my advice,get checked its peace of mind….

  6. I have a skin check every 6 months,my husband every 3.

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