REMAINING VIGILANT: Regan Fletcher had a melanoma at the age of 15 and has had regular skin checks since.
REMAINING VIGILANT: Regan Fletcher had a melanoma at the age of 15 and has had regular skin checks since. Brenda Strong

Early skin check proves to be lifesaver for teen

RECEIVING a diagnosis of a stage two melanoma changed Regan Fletcher's life.

The 23-year-old celebrated being five years cancer free in January and continues to share her inspiring story.

At 15 she had her first skin check. She found out she had a stage two malignant melanoma on her cheek.

But due to early detection she did not have to undergo invasive surgery.

Previous studies show melanoma survivors have a six to seven times higher risk of being diagnosed with a subsequent invasive melanoma when compared to the general population.

Recent research from Cancer Council Queensland and the University of Queensland has found the risk is greatest on the same part of the body as the original melanoma.

The findings show that the chance of being diagnosed with a subsequent invasive melanoma remains high irrespective of whether the first melanoma was invasive or not.

Despite being five years cancer free, Ms Fletcher continues to have her skin checked every six months.

"Up until five years (of cancer free) I had my skin checked every three months," she said.

"It has been very weird now only having to go every six months. I was going so regularly so it's a bit different.

"Getting my skin checked is something that has changed my life."



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