Skin Cancer is in on the Rise

Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer from the time they are 70, with over 750,000 individuals     treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia annually. Non-melanoma skin cancer is more common in men, with nearly double the incidence in comparison with women.
Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma is the third most frequent cancer in Australians. In 2013, 12,744 Australians were diagnosed with melanoma.

Each Year, in Australia:

– Skin cancers account for approximately 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancers.

– The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to sunlight

– GPs have more than 1 million patient consultations annually for skin cancer

– The incidence of skin cancer is among the greatest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the United Kingdom.

– In 2014, 2067 individuals died from skin cancer in Australia, 1467 from melanoma and 600 from non-melanoma skin cancers.

– The five-year relative survival rate for melanoma is 88 percent for men and 93 percent for women in Australia. The five-year relative survival rate for non-melanoma skin cancer is 68 percent for men and 74 percent for women in Australia.

Skin cancer symptoms

The faster skin cancer is detected and identified and treated by a skin doctor, the greater your odds of avoiding surgery or, in the event of a significant melanoma or other skin cancer, possible disfigurement or even death.

Additionally it is a good idea to speak with your doctor about your level of risk and also for information on early detection and possible mole removal. Become knowledgeable about the appearance of your skin, so you pick up any changes which may indicate a skin cancer. Search for:

– Any crusty, non-healing sores

– Small lumps which are red, pale or pearly in colour

– New spots, freckles or some other additives changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months (particularly those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour).

Causes of skin cancer

Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, even although the risk that increases as you get older. The vast majority of skin cancers in Australia are brought on by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. Sunburn causes 95 percent of melanomas, the most deadly type of skin cancer. In Australia, 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 5 teens are sunburnt on an average summer weekend. Lots of individuals get sunburnt when they’re taking part in water sports and activities at the beach or a pool, as well gardening or having a barbecue. Sunburn is also common on cooler or overcast days, as many people wrongly believe UV radiation is much less strong. This is false — you may continue to be sunburnt once the temperature is cool. Sun exposure that does not lead to burning may still cause damage to skin tissues and increase your chance of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation every year can also cause skin cancer.

Tanning

A tan isn’t an indication of good health or health, despite many Australians referring to a ‘healthy tan’. Nearly half of Australian adults still hold the misguided belief that a tan looks healthy.
Tanning is an indication that you were exposed to sufficient UV radiation (from sunlight or solarium) to harm your skin. This will eventually result in loss of elasticity (wrinkles), sagging, yellow discolouration as well as brown patches to appear on your skin. A tan provides only limited protection against sunburn, usually equivalent to SPF3, based upon your skin type. It doesn’t protect from DNA damage, which may result in skin cancer. Some men and women who use fake tans erroneously believe it will give them protection against UV radiation. Because of this, they might not take sun protection measures, placing them at greater risk of skin cancer. More info about fake tans is offered in Cancer Council’s position statement on fake tans.

Solariums

Solariums emit UVA and UVB radiation, both known causes of cancer. Cancer Council doesn’t advocate solarium use for cosmetic tanning under any conditions. As of January 2016, commercial solariums were prohibited in most states in Australia. ACT has also banned commercial solariums. There are no business solariums working in the Northern Territory.

Analysis for skin cancer

It’s important to check your skin regularly and check with your physician if you notice any changes. Your physician may perform a biopsy (remove a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope) or refer you to a professional if he suspects a skin cancer.

Treatment for skin cancer

Skin cancers are almost always eliminated. In more complex skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to be certain that all of the cancerous cells are taken out. The most common treatment for skin cancer is operation to eliminate the cancer (usually under a local anaesthetic). Common skin cancers may be treated with ointments or radiotherapy. Skin cancer may also be removed with cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze off the cancer), scraping or burning.

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