What is Skin Cancer?

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Background

Prevention

Types of Skin Cancer

What to Look For

Fast Facts

Your Risks

Background

Skin Cancer occurs when the cells within the skin are damaged. This damage is almost always caused by exposure to the sun and its associated dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation. These cancerous cells are often aggressive, invasive and potentially metastatic – meaning it can spread to other parts of the body. The early detection and removal of skin cancers significantly improves recovery time and survival rates.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are two main classifications of skin cancer: 
Melanoma – the most dangerous and deadly form, which begins in the skin and can spread to other major organs of the body.
Non Melanoma – less dangerous but still requires early treatment.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – accounts for 70% of cases
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – accounts for the remaining 30% of cases.

Fast Facts

An Australian dies every 5 hours from Melanoma.
Around 2 in 3 Australians will develop some form of skin cancer by the age of 70.
The annual cost to medicare for treating skin cancer amasses to $9.51 Billion.
It can take just 15 minutes to burn in High UV Levels.

What to Look For

Since early detection of skin cancer is extremely important, it is important to keep your eye out for a few key things regarding your skin:
Sore – A spot which is itchy, bleeding or tender and doesn’t heal within 6 weeks.
Changing – in size, shape, colour or texture.
Abnormal – Looks different or stands out when compared to your other spots.
New – Has appeared recently

It is essential to keep track of how your moles and marks look currently to be able to notice a change over time. It is recommended to have yearly skin checks with a health care professional.

Prevention

It is essential to keep track of how your moles and marks look currently to be able to notice a change over time. It is recommended to have yearly skin checks with a health care professional.

SLIP on Ultraviolet Protective CLothing (UPF) clothing where appropriate
SLOP on Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen – Nothing less than SPF 30+
SLAP – on a Wide Brimmed Hat or Hats with covering flaps
SEEK – shade from infrastructure or trees
SLIDE on correct Eye Protection Factor (EPF) sunglasses
SKIN CHECKS visit your GP, Skin specialist or dermatologist annually or as recommended by your health professional
SPREAD THE WORD – by speaking to family, friends, work colleagues and the community