Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70 and more than 750,000 people treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, therefore early prevention and awareness is critical to reducing your risk of developing skin cancer in later years.
At Queensgate Medical Centre our General Practitioners are experienced at the early and accurate detection of skin cancer. Regular skin checks by your GP will help early detection which will help you to avoid surgery or a life threatening situation. It is a good idea to talk to your GP about your level of risk and for advice on early detection.
The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. Every year, in Australia:
skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
the majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
the incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
Become familiar with the look of your skin, so you pick up any changes that might suggest a skin cancer. Look for:
any crusty, non-healing sores
small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour
new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months (especially those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour).
Sunburn causes 95% of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer with 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 5 teenagers are sunburnt on an average summer weekend. Sunburn is also common on cooler or overcast days, as many people mistakenly believe UV radiation is not as strong. This is untrue – you can still be sunburnt when the temperature is cool.
For more information, please visit the Cancer Council Australia website and book your appointment today at Queensgate Medical Centre, Mole Clinic.