Spotlight on skin cancer                                                                                                             

It is always enjoyable to be outside in the great summer weather that we having been having. Whether boating or tramping or lying on the beach appreciating the sun, sea and surf.

Sadly the harsh New Zealand sun gives New Zealand the world’s highest incidence rate of malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Although less serious than malignant melanoma, squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma are far more common than malignant melanoma. Early diagnosis and treatment important and everyone should check all areas of their skin regularly including those areas not exposed to the sun.

The ABC’s of melanoma are to check any spots and especially moles for the following:

Asymmetry: Not equal on all sides

Border: Irregular edges

Colour: Variation in colour within the mole

Diameter: Moles growing or changing in size

Elevation/evolution: Moles that are raised or change over time.

While the highest risk group for all skin cancers are men over the age of 50, in 2010 melanoma was the leading cancer amongst males aged 25 to 44 and the second highest cancer for females.

The most important risk policy is your medical insurance because this should enable you to seek early treatment if it is required to be carried out by a registered specialist. The policy should cover the cost of the pre and post-operative visit, the surgery and any biopsies required. If the skin lesion is diagnosed as malignant then the surgical removal and subsequent treatment will be covered. The question of plastic surgery may also arise.  It always pays to seek preapproval from the insurer so check with me to help you through this process.

The other question, if the melanoma is sever, is the issue of income and the hidden costs such as loss of income for especially if your partners need to take time of work. This can be handled by a combination of both trauma insurance which pays a lump sum in the event of cancer and income protection which replaces income if you are unable to work

Ultimately in the melanoma is fatal, the question of the early payment of your life insurance due to terminal illness arises.

The key focus at Direct Insurance Brokers is that the claims process is easy and prompt. So enjoy the summer sun but be mindful that such a simple thing as to much sun can lead to major health issues and think about how well you and your family are protected in these types of events.