Fundraising

MRF Raffle NSW & QLD
First Prize: $15,000 Cash
Draw:  20th March 2020

MRF Raffle WA
First Prize: $15,000 Cash
Draw:  10th April 2020

The Melanoma Research Foundation aims to

Improve early diagnosis of melanoma and develop new treatments by funding leading Australian Research.

Raise awareness of the cause of melanoma among the general public and measures every Australian can take to protect themselves and their families.

Provide patient support services

the melanoma skin check

Watch out for the below signs and make an appointment with your Doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.

  • • A change in skin colour - this could be a new spot, or a change in shape or size of a current spot
  • • A spot, sore or mole that doesn't heal, becomes painful or tender.
  • • A mole that becomes itchy or begins to bleed
  • • A spot, sore, mole or lump that looks shiny, waxy, smooth or pale
  • • A firm red lump that bleeds or appears crusty
  • • A flat, red spot that is rough, dry or scaly
  • • A black/dark spot or streak under a fingernail or toenail, that hasn't come from previous trauma to the nail

A good time to check your skin is after a bath or shower.  Use a mirror to help you see your moles - this will enable you to become more familiar with your skin and what your moles normally look like.

Checking for these signs is very important as melanoma can usually be cured if it is found at an early stage.

Most importantly, get a “base-line” check of your skin by a Doctor or specialist Dermatologist, so that future comparisons can be made and changes identified.

Melanoma can affect anyone, even those with dark skin complexion.

what is melanoma?

Melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer that has a tendency to spread to other parts of the body.  It accounts for around 80% of skin cancer related deaths.

Melanoma is a cancer that develops from melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells that impart colour to the skin, hair and eyes.  Prolonged exposure to sun or UV light damages melanocytes, causing them to grow and divide rapidly and spread into the surrounding surface layers of the skin.  This out of control growth usually looks like a rapidly growing mole or dark spot on the skin.

If not diagnosed and treated, melanoma will grow and spread along the epidermis before penetrating deeper layers of the skin and eventually coming into contact with lymph and blood vessels.  If the melanoma breaks through into a blood vessel then this allows the melanoma to spread to distant sites or distant organs.  This is called ‘metastatic melanoma’.  Metastatic melanoma most commonly occurs in the liver, lungs, bones or brain.

People with darker skin tones are generally less likely to develop melanoma than people with fairer skin.  This is because their skin produces more melanin, which protects against the harmful effects of UV radiation.  However, even dark-skinned people can and do contract melanoma.

In women, melanoma is most commonly found on the lower legs.  In men, melanoma is most commonly found on the head, neck, chest and back.  Melanomas are uncommon in areas which are protected from sun exposure.  However, in dark-skinned people, melanoma is more commonly found under the nails of the fingers or toes, on the palms of the hands, or soles of the feet.