'Slip-Slop-Slap' is the name for a health campaign started in Australia telling people to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat" when they go out into the sun in order to prevent skin cancer. The campaign started in 1981 with its mascot, a seagull called Sid. Since this campaign was introduced along with advertisements and a jingle, the incidents of skin cancer in Australia has decreased dramatically. This same campaign has now been adopted worldwide - different countries have different mascots, in the UK it is “Cool Cat”
Why should you check for signs of skin cancer?
Doctors are more likely to be able to treat skin cancer successfully if it is caught early.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. If you catch it early, it's very likely that your doctor can cure it.
What it looks like: A pearly bump or sore that sometimes won't heal.
Who could get it: Anyone can get basal cell carcinoma, especially those people who have been out in the sun a lot.
How it's treated: Your dermatologist can remove a basal cell carcinoma usually with a simple office procedure.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most common skin cancer. It is also likely that your doctor can cure it if you find it early. But squamous cell carcinoma can spread (some people die from it if it spreads and is not treated early enough).
What it looks like: A crusty, scaly patch with a hard surface.
Who could get it: Anyone can get squamous cell carcinoma, especially those people who have been out in the sun a lot.
How it's treated: Your dermatologist can remove this kind of skin cancer usually with a simple office procedure.
Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer but it is the most dangerous. People can die from melanoma. If you have a family history of this skin cancer, you could get it even if you've never been out in the sun.
What it looks like: Usually a dark mole, sometimes with an uneven edge. The colour and size may change as time passes.
Who could get it: Anyone. Especially those with fair skin, or have had blistering sunburns, or have a family history of melanoma.
How it's treated: See your doctor immediately if you have a mole that:
- is bleeding, crusting or oozing
- contains different colours
- has a ragged edge
- is inflamed or has a red edge
- is growing or new
- feels funny or itches
- is bigger than your other moles