Have you had a skin check recently?

Insurance Written by Stefan Rodrigues, Jan 5 2018

My mum died from Melanoma. She was fit, healthy and wasn’t one for lying out in the sun. The scary thing is that Melanoma doesn’t care how often you go to the gym, or if you drink spirulina shakes or do yoga. It’s indiscriminate. If you were to get diagnosed with cancer, are you and your family well prepared to deal with the financial consequences?

To prevent Melanoma, the best you can do is be sun smart, know your moles and get any unusual moles checked straight away. When was the last time you checked yours? Now is of course the time to be extra careful because the New Zealand summer is well and truly here. With the golden sun beaming (through an extra thin ozone layer), we all want to be outdoors making the most of the long hot summer days. Before heading out though, remember to slip slop slap. For more information, be sure to check out sunsmart.org.nz.

When my mum was diagnosed with Melanoma, she was only in her fifties. When the diagnosis come through as terminal, it was extremely shocking to say the least. It came at a particularly trying time for my family. My dad had to take time off work to take care of mum. Having insurance allowed him to use this time to focus on taking care of her without having financial stress. Do you have adequate insurance cover if something seemingly random like this was to happen?

I had always associated Melanoma with basking in the sun or using tanning beds. This was a huge wake up call for myself, family and friends. You never know what’s around the corner and in stressful times like these, having comprehensive insurance cover in place can make a huge difference.

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The stats:

  • Over 4,000 people are diagnosed with either melanoma in situ or invasive melanoma every year in New Zealand – that’s around 13 every day.
  • New Zealand's melanoma incidence rate is the world's highest.
  • Around 70% of melanoma cases occur in people aged 50 years and older.
  • Melanoma rarely occurs in children.
  • Melanoma accounts for nearly 80% of all skin cancer deaths.
  • Over 300 Kiwis die of melanoma every year.
  • Maori and Pacific people may have a lower chance of getting melanoma, they often have thicker, more serious melanomas.
  • Death rates are higher among men and appear to be increasing.

Statistics sourced from the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Guidelines Group.

Here’s the thing: you get your car a warrant of fitness each year, so what do you do for your own body each year to make sure everything is in order? Sorry to be blunt, but leaving this stuff to chance is stupidity. For information regarding prevention, symptoms and diagnosis of Melanomas check out www.melanoma.org.nz

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