Skin Cancer is extremely common in Australia, with sunburn being one of the major causes. Approximately 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children get sunburnt on the weekend during the summer months.
It is important to remember that it is the UV radiation from the sun which can be deadly, and that skin can still become damaged even when no visible sunburn occurs. As you age, the risk of skin cancer increases and it is not always found on the most obvious parts of your body. The best prevention is the correct sun protection and regular skin checks, so cover up and slap on the sunscreen!
There are three main types of skin cancer, and they are often found in different regions of your body:
Basal Cell Carcinoma is common in Australia, and equates to approximately 70% of non melanoma skin cancers. These can be hard to spot as they are generally just a small pearly lump, scaly and shiny with a slightly pink shade. Basal Cell Carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body and grows slowly without spreading to other areas.
Basal Cell Carcinomas are most prevalent in sun exposed areas of the body, these include:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma make up the other 30% of non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia. These can grow quite quickly and have the ability to spread to other areas of the body such as the lymph nodes. These are potentially deadly and are generally caused by overexposure to the sun. The appearance is often thick and red, scaly and spotty, and the lump will grow noticeably bigger within a short period of time. Squamous Cell Carcinomas are often tender and sore, and may bleed or look as though they are an open wound.
Squamous Cell Carcinomas are most often caused by sun exposure, but there are other factors such as the wart virus which could contribute to these developing.
Areas in which these cancers may occur include:
Melanoma is the fourth most common type of cancer in Australia, and we have one of the highest rates of occurance in the world.
A Melanoma may go unnoticed so it is important to regularly check any moles on your body. A change of colour, shape, elevation and size, blotchy appearance and bleeding may all be symptoms of Melanoma. Melanoma is typically the most dangerous and devastating type of skin cancer, and it can spread throughout the body.
Melanoma can be linked to both UV radiation exposure and genetics. It can be found anywhere on the body, but common areas include:
My Skin Centre is a popular skin clinic, with 9 convenient locations throughout WA. Our experienced team can assess your skin for all types of skin cancer. Contact us today to book an appointment, it could just save your life!
With multiple locations throughout Perth and the South West there is a clinic near you!