Skin Cancer Detection and Treatment

The vast majority of cancers diagnosed in Australia are skin cancers. Survival rates are very high but this is mainly due to early detection. According to the Cancer Council of Australia:

Over 382,000 people are treated for non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma each year in Australia, and over 1400 die. Every year, doctors remove around 720,000 lesions from the skins of Australians because they are suspected skin cancers.

Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, is the most common cancer in people aged 15 to 44 years. Overall, it is the third most common cancer in women, and the fourth most common in men.

To reduce your risk of skin cancer, The Cancer Council Australia recommends you use all of the following sun protection measures:

– take particular care between 10am and 3pm when UV levels are at their highest
– wear a wide brimmed hat and clothing to cover exposed skin
– use a broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen and reapply at least every two hours
– wear close-fitting sunglasses to protect against eye damage
– seek shade whenever possible

While it is important to check your own skin for any new or unusual spots (such as freckles, moles or sunspots), a regular checkup by an experienced doctor is important. We recommend that everyone have regular skin checks, however some people are more at risk of developing skin cancer, such as if they:

  • work outdoors
  • spend or have spent a lot of time outdoors
  • have previously had skin cancer
  • have family members who have had skin cancer
  • have a history or sunburn, especially in childhood
  • have more than 50 moles
  • have atypical or unusual looking moles
  • go to or have gone to a tanning salon
  • have fair skin, especially those with red hair or blue eyes
  • have an impaired immune system such as those with fibromyalgia
  • are over 50 years of age

Your GP can check your skin for cancer as part of your annual checkup. However, as a detailed and thorough skin check often takes more than 15 minutes, it makes sense to have a doctor dedicated to treating skin cancers check your skin.

We have a number of doctors qualified in performing skin cancer checks. Contact us to make an appointment.