Launceston's Kate Von Stieglitz was 22 when she found her first melanoma.
She thought she was too young to be diagnosed with melanoma - she was wrong.
It took four separate doctor visits before it was removed.
"Three different GPs said it was fine," Ms Von Stieglitz said.
"But it didn't feel right - and then it got bigger, which is one of the signs.
"I finally went to a skin cancer specialist. He said it looked OK too, but cut it out."
Ms Von Stieglitz said a week later, the tests showed that it was a melanoma.
"My specialist said that if we had left it for a couple more years, I would have been in a very different situation," she said.
Since then, Ms Von Stieglitz has had seven melanomas removed from her body.
This week, from November 20 to 26, is National Skin Cancer Action Week, and Ms Von Stieglitz is sharing her message so other Tasmanians can take action.
"When I was younger, I didn't think it would happen to me," she said.
"I loved going out in the sun and getting a tan.
"But the reality is you have to be so careful in the sun. I used to put sunscreen on my shoulders, but never on my legs - I have now had two melanomas removed from my legs."
Ms Von Stieglitz now has six-monthly skin checks.
"You need to listen to your body. If someone tells you it's fine, don't take their word for it," Ms Von Stieglitz said.
"If your gut is telling you something's wrong, it's generally right."
Cancer Council Tasmania chief executive Alison Lai said National Skin Cancer Action Week is an opportunity to promote sun-protective behaviours, UV awareness, and early detection.
"Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Tasmania and is the most common cancer for 20 to 39 year olds in Australia," Ms Lai said.
"When the UV is three and above, we encourage everyone to use sun protection when going outdoors.
"This means you need to slip on sun protective clothing, slop on 50+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen, slap on a hat that covers your face, neck, and ears, seek shade, and slide on sunglasses."
Ms Lai said she hoped Kate's story would raise awareness about how important it is to get your skin checked.
"Kate's experience is compelling, and I would encourage people to always check the daily UV index before leaving the house, in the same way as we would check the weather," she said.
"Checking the daily UV index for your neighbourhood is as simple as downloading the free SunSmart App onto your phone so that you can have sun protection advice at your fingertips every day."
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