Who doesn’t love to spend time outdoors here in Aotearoa New Zealand? Surfing, hiking, snowboarding – no matter the season you’ll find Kiwis outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
Unfortunately, our love for getting out in nature, as well as low ozone and haze levels, exposes Kiwis to high levels of damaging UV rays. So it’s no surprise that New Zealand has some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. In fact, they are one of the most common forms of cancer diagnosed in NZ.
We don’t need to tell you how important early detection is for treating cancer. But we can share our expertise on skin checks, and the cost of skin cancer screening without insurance, to help you protect your health and your wallet.
So keep reading if you’re interested in:
- What happens during a screening session
- Why early detection is important for cancer treatment
- The medical costs of skin screenings without insurance
- How NZ Skin Health can help you – regardless of your private health insurance status
What is skin cancer screening?
What actually is skin cancer screening and what happens during a screening session?
During a skin assessment, a skin specialist will gently examine any moles, freckles, sun spots, and suspicious lesions on your skin for signs of skin cancer.
What are the signs skin cancer experts look for during a skin assessment?
- Irregularly-shaped moles
- Moles that have changed shape and/or colour
- Lesions or moles that are sensitive, itchy, bleeding or crusty
- Blue and/or white pigmentation in moles
- Pink and raised nodules
Wondering how to prepare for a skin assessment?
Wearing comfortable, easy to remove clothing will make your appointment quick and hassle-free. Our experienced dermoscopist will offer you a gown or large towels to protect your privacy during the appointment while allowing experts to complete a thorough skin cancer screening.
Make-up can affect the accuracy of the imaging process, so be sure to remove any heavy foundation or concealer, as well as coloured nail polish, before your skin screening session.
If there are any moles or lesions that you are particularly worried about, be sure to let the practitioner know at the start of your skin check.
Why is early skin cancer detection and treatment so important?
New Zealand has one of the world’s highest skin cancer rates. Regular skin assessments are vital for any wellness plan, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors exposed to UV. According to the Cancer Society NZ, over 90% of skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to UV rays.
So what are the most common types of skin cancer, and how do regular screenings help to protect us? The three types of skin cancer in New Zealand are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
What happens if a suspicious mole or lesion is found during your appointment? You will most likely require a skin biopsy, usually made through surgical excision, so a sample can be sent to a lab for closer examination by a pathologist.
Regular skin assessments should be an essential part of your well-being plan, especially if you have fair skin, or your family has a history of skin cancer. The sooner a potentially cancerous mole or lesion is spotted, the faster you can receive treatment. Early detection is always the best protection, and early treatment saves lives.
Does insurance cover skin cancer screening?
Wondering how much a skin check will cost in NZ? The cost for a skin assessment depends on several factors, including the type of screening, the provider, and whether you have private health insurance or not.
The average cost for a full-body skin screening in New Zealand can range from $399 to $250, depending on the technology used and the provider. Other services, such as consultations without imaging, or checks for a specific number of moles or lesions, tend to cost between $149 and $200.
If you have private health insurance, you might be eligible for full or partial funding for skin lesion consultations. Check your policy documents for specific coverage information, or contact your insurance provider to learn more about your entitlements for skin checks. Some skin assessment providers have partnerships with insurance companies, allowing you to book a screening at a reduced rate.
Free screenings are sometimes available, like Melanoma New Zealand’s mobile spot check van, and other community-based events. However, the Cancer Society of New Zealand recommends that receiving a mole assessment outside of a clinical setting should not replace regular full-body examinations. Why? Because they often only look at a single suspicious lesion or mole of concern, and do not include adequate follow-ups or referrals.
Don’t have insurance? NZSH can help with mole checks either way!
NZ Skin Health can help you achieve peace of mind about your skin health. Whether you have private health insurance or not, we have a range of service options to ensure you receive the care and financial solution you need.
Our gentle, highly-trained experts will perform your first spot check free, so you can experience the level of quality care we pride ourselves on at NZ Skin Health – without spending a dollar.
NZ Skin Health is affiliated with Southern Cross insurance, making the claims process quick and easy for all members. We also offer a membership programme which makes keeping on top of your skin health even more cost-effective.
Do you work outdoors? If so, your employer might be interested in sponsoring a workplace skin check. NZSH corporate packages make it easy and affordable to book an on-site screening. Our experts can travel all over NZ, and we offer screening options that can cater to each organisation’s size and specific needs.
Book your skin check with NZSH
Want to book a skin assessment, or learn more about skin cancer treatment costs?
NZ Skin Health is here to help. We uphold an excellent record of diagnostic accuracy and successful treatment of skin cancers. No matter what your insurance status, our team can guide you toward the best solutions for your needs. Early detection is always your best defence.
Call us now on 09 533 41 41 or send us a message to book your appointment today!