What is skin cancer?
There are three types of skin cancer:
- basal cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation / the sun.
Who is suitable for Skin Cancer Screening?
It is recommended that everybody has a skin check-up with their GP. The GP will then evaluate screening needs and frequency. Unfortunately there is no organised skin cancer screening program in Australia that is conducted in a significant portion of the population at present. Statistics show that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some stage in their lifetime.
It is therefore of utmost importance to keep a close eye on one’s own skin and the skin of your family and friends.
Things to look out for:
- Small lumps or bumps on the skin that are red or pale in appearance
- Sores that don’t heal and are crusty in appearance
- Newly developed spots or freckles
- Moles that have changed in appearance over time
Any other concerns you have about your skin. It is important to remember that your mouth is also a place to check
Treating skin cancer:
All diagnosed or suspected skin cancers must be removed or treated. Your doctor will decide on one of the following methods to remove skin cancer
- cautery (burning)
- curettage (scraping)
- cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancer off)
- surgery (usually under a local anaesthetic)
Preventing skin cancer:
Protect your skin from the sun and UV ray exposure time by wearing protective clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses.