Thursday, 06 June 2024 13:55

Make sure to turn up for your free cancer check

Written by  Staff Reporters
Melanoma New Zealand’s Spot Check Van featuring in FMGs latest television advertising. Melanoma New Zealand’s Spot Check Van featuring in FMGs latest television advertising.

Melanoma New Zealand will once again be at Fieldays next week, providing education and free skin cancer spot checks.

The charity will be joining a wide range of health providers and rural support networks located at the Fieldays Health & Wellbeing Hub.

“Sharing these lifesaving messages with rural New Zealanders is at the heart of Melanoma New Zealand’s partnership with FMG,” says Melanoma New Zealand chief executive Andrea Newland.

“Heightening the awareness in New Zealand’s rural communities of how to protect your skin when outdoors, and the importance of having regular skin checks, will save lives.”

New Zealand has one of the worst rates of melanoma in the world. More than 6000 people are diagnosed with melanoma in New Zealand each year, and almost 300 will die from it. However, the good news is that if melanoma is recognised and treated early enough, it is almost always curable.

“At Fieldays last year, Melanoma New Zealand’s Nurse Educators saw 610 people for spot checks and found 53 suspicious lesions, including 14 suspected melanomas,” says Newland.

“The location of our site outside the Health Hub draws a crowd, so we typically have a constant stream of people making the most of the opportunity to have a spot check and learn life-saving advice about the importance of early detection and prevention of melanoma.”

Melanoma New Zealand’s rural partner, FMG, will have a member of its team on site to help welcome and coordinate spot check registrations over the four days.

Since the partnership began in 2021, FMG and Melanoma New Zealand have teamed up to provide spot checks and education in rural communities across New Zealand. Dubbed the “FMG Spot Check Roadie”, so far this year, the Roadie has visited several key events in the rural calendar, including the Southern Districts, Central Districts and Northland Field Days, New Zealand Shearing Championships, the East Coast Farming Expo and the Shepherdess Muster. Those events saw Melanoma New Zealand’s Nurse Educators perform 852 spot checks and identify 162 suspicious lesions, including 42 suspected melanomas.

The Roadie is also featured in FMG’s latest television advertisement.

Spot checks are a way for Melanoma New Zealand to engage in conversation about the importance of early detection, but a diagnosis is not provided. Melanoma New Zealand recommends that people have a regular, full-body skin check by a GP, dermatologist, surgeon, or plastic surgeon.

If Melanoma New Zealand Nurse Educators find any suspicious lesions during Fieldays, they will refer the person to their GP or other specialist. If people are unable to be seen on the day, they can book a free online consultation with one of Melanoma New Zealand’s Nurse Educators.

Melanoma New Zealand is a charity that relies on individual donations, corporate sponsorships and grants for funding. Anyone wishing to support Melanoma New Zealand can donate at www.melanoma.org.nz/ donate or phone the Melanoma NZ office on 0800 463 526.

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