Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- basal cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
- melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer
Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are known as non-melanoma skin cancer or keratinocyte cancers. Keratinocyte cancer is more common in men, with almost double the incidence compared to women.
Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australians excluding keratinocyte cancers as data on incidence is not routinely collected).
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
- 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
Skin cancer symptoms
The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.
It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about your level of risk and for advice on early detection.
Become familiar with the look of your skin, particularly spots and moles, so you pick up any changes that might suggest skin cancer.
- 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
Step into our medical centre and be surprised and delighted by how the appropriate combination of these treatments can eliminate or reduce the degree of your scarring. Only medically trained professionals will consult and treat your skin at Main Street.
Our equipment is the best available for scarring, ensuring you will have complete confidence in our approach and treatments to reduce your previously thought life-long scars. In addition to the efficacy of our treatments, pricing is highly competitive and for the benefit of our clients.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.
The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. Some factors that increase your risk of skin cancer include:
It is important to check your skin regularly and check with your doctor if you notice any changes. It is recommended that you have a full body skin check every 12 months.
In the majority of cases, your doctor will examine you, paying attention to any spots that may look suspicious. Your doctor may perform a biopsy (remove a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope).
Skin cancers are almost always removed. In more advanced skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to make sure that all of the cancerous cells have been taken out.
There is currently no formal screening program for skin cancers in Australia. It is recommended that people become familiar with their skin. If you notice any changes consult your doctor.
For best protection, when the UV level is 3 or above, we recommend a combination of sun protection measures:
- Slip on some sun-protective clothing - that covers as much skin as possible.
- Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30 sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
- Slap on a hat - that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
- Seek shade.
- Slide on some sunglasses - make sure they meet Australian standards.
Be extra cautious in the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense.