Check your moles, freckles and any "ugly duckling".
That's the advice of Hawke's Bay melanoma survivor Dale Salamonson and experts ahead of Melanoma Awareness Week.
Three years on from having his melanoma surgically removed from his right shoulder, Salamonson said the paranoia of checking moles and protecting his skin will never fade.
"I always wear a collared shirt and a hat when I'm out fishing and make sure I've got plenty of sunscreen on when diving."
Salamonson, who has a family history of melanoma, said he is conscious of looking out for new or existing moles changing size, shape or colour.
He said he knew something was wrong when he noticed a strange spot on his shoulder.
His wife took photos to track any changes and booked a doctor's appointment to have it checked.
The results confirmed melanoma, and the cancerous spot was removed.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board dermatologist Ruud Horlings commended Salamonson for checking his skin for melanoma signals.
"Because he recognised the signs, his melanoma was caught early," Horlings said.
"If recognised and treated early enough, it is almost always curable. However, if the cancer spreads to other parts of the body it can be fatal."
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.
New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, with more than 4000 people diagnosed every year and about 13 diagnosed every day.
During Melanoma Awareness Week, which runs from October 19 to October 25, Horlings has urged the public to check their body for melanoma, including skin not normally exposed to the sun.
"Get someone to help you check difficult-to-see areas such as your back, neck and scalp and look for anything that seems different, or a bit of an ugly duckling," he said.
"If in doubt, consult your doctor."
More than 350 New Zealanders die of this skin cancer every year.