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MPs Raise Melanoma Awareness in Inaugural Skin Check Day

15 October 2015

MPs Raise Melanoma Awareness in Inaugural Skin Check Day

Melanoma NZ offers free skin checks to Politicians

Today, Members of Parliament from across the House will be receiving a free skin check in an event the first of its kind in New Zealand. The skin checks are being facilitated by Melanoma New Zealand to highlight the seriousness of melanoma and the importance of early detection.

With one of the highest incidences in the world, fair skinned Kiwis have a one in 15[1] chance of developing melanoma in their lifetime. Parliamentarians receiving skin checks today from registered dermatologists include the Minister of Health Dr Jonathan Coleman, several Cabinet Ministers and MPs from National, Labour, Greens, NZ First and the ACT Party.

Linda Flay, CEO of Melanoma New Zealand, says that education is a very important factor in raising awareness of melanoma and the importance of early detection; and that’s really what the first Melanoma New Zealand Parliament Skin Check Day is all about.

“Today we’re working to raise awareness about the importance of skin checks and teaching people to be vigilant about changes in their own skin. Being proactive could save you from becoming one of over 300 Kiwis who die from melanoma each year.

“For these 300 Kiwis who already have advanced disease, new treatment options such as immunotherapies, which harness the power of the immune system in order to attack the cancer, are available but not yet reimbursed in New Zealand.

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“Kiwis need to be proactive in looking out for the early signs of this deadly skin cancer, and we’re really pleased so many MPs representing communities from around New Zealand have joined us to get this message out.

“After the day of skin checks, the Minister of Health Dr Jonathan Coleman will be hosting a cocktail event in Parliament for MPs, health professionals and supporters,” says Mrs Flay.

“The event will include speeches from Rosalie Fisher, a medical oncologist, and Bob Hill, a melanoma patient. It will be an opportunity to highlight the impact this devastating condition has on New Zealanders and raise awareness of how to better detect and also manage treatment of this disease.”

Melanoma New Zealand acknowledges the support of MSD in bringing this inaugural Melanoma New Zealand Parliament Skin Check Day about.

-ENDS-

[1] Oakley. A. (2014). Melanoma. Retrieved from: http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/melanoma.html

Results: Media_advisory_MelanomaNZ_Parliamentary_Skin_Check_results_002.pdf

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