Skin cancer occurs due to damage of cellular DNA in the skin. This can be caused by solariums or the sun.
Solariums can actually emit UV radiation up to five times as strong as the summer midday sun and have a proven link to causing skin cancer.
BCCs are the most common form of skin cancer.
BCCs are the most common form of skin cancer. They can become noticeable as a flat pink patch or a pink lump with a sore that won't heal.
BCCs account for about 75% of all skin cancers.
They are a malignant tumour formed in the basal cell layer of the skin. They usually appear as a small, rounded lump with a pearly edge and a few visible blood vessels.
BCCs occur mainly in exposed areas such as the head and neck, upper trunk and the limbs.
There are some more aggressive subtypes of BCC that are difficult to see and can do more damage to tissues.
SCCs usually appear as a flat, scaly area that gradually thickens. Bleeding and ulceration may occur, and the area could feel tender. They can also grow into lumps very rapidly.
SCCs predominantly occur on the head and neck, hands and forearms, trunk and lower limbs. These cancers may spread to other parts of the body if not treated. SCCs account for about 20% of all skin cancers.
Intraepithelial carcinoma, Bowen’s disease, and superficial SCC are different terms for the same type of SCC skin cancer.
These types of squamous cell carcinomas are confined to the upper layers of skin and usually appear pink and scaly. They are mainly caused by UV radiation, but can also be a result of ionising radiation (radiotherapy) and arsenic ingestion.
Melanoma is the most common cause of cancer in Australians aged 15-44 years.
It rarely occurs in children, but it can appear at any age and on any area of the body, not only those exposed to the sun.
The first sign of a melanoma is usually the appearance of a new spot on normal skin or a change in a freckle or mole. There may be a change in size, shape, or colour of a spot, and the surface texture may change. Early detection is vital as melanoma is often identifiable at an early stage where simple treatment can result in complete cure.[4,5]
Melanomas account for about 5% of all skin cancers, but are responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths.
Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, with rates having doubled between 1986-2006.
1 in 14 males and 1 in 23 females in Australia will develop a melanoma by age 85.
Compared to women, men are more than 2.5 times as likely to die from melanoma.
Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians aged 15-39 years old.[4,5]
If you have visited a solarium before the age of 35, your risk of melanoma is increased by 75%.
Having 6 or more dysplastic naevi (abnormal moles) increases your risk of melanoma substantially.
Melanoma is projected to become the third most common cancer in Australians by the year 2020.
Regular skin checks allow the early detection and thus the early treatment of melanomas.
Merkel Cell carcinoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. Luckily, it is relatively rare. It arises from pressure receptors in the skin and can spread to other parts of the body. It usually occurs in people greater than 50 years old.
Solar keratoses are pre-cancerous lesions, which are usually a result of cumulative sun exposure. These can appear as multiple scaly, warty, skin coloured or pink lesions that are most often found on the face, hands, and forearms of fair-skinned people who have regularly been outdoors without adequate sun protection.
The presence of solar keratoses means that the person is more likely to grow skin cancers and has up to a 15% risk of each keratosis developing into a SCC.
Treatment of solar keratoses with PDT is offered by Skin HQ and should be considered at the pre-cancer stage can decrease the skin cancer risk and can be discussed with a doctor at your skin check.
Dysplastic Naevi are unusual moles that are most often hereditary and indicate that the person is at a higher risk of developing a melanoma. Having regular skin checks with digital dermoscopic monitoring is one way of detecting early melanomas.