What makes 80% of new cancer cases each year in Australia?
With summer just around the corner, now is the time to start looking into your skin care and helping to prevent skin cancers from forming. The summer heat means that we all want to be outside and enjoying the sunshine. But when doing so, we need to ensure that we are practicing safe sun habits to avoid skin cancers from forming. By practicing safe sun habits such as using sunscreen and wearing a hat, you can reduce the risks to yourself. There are three main types of skin cancer that you can suffer from. These skin cancers vary in severity.
What are the types of skin cancer?
Did you know that more than 80% of new cancer cases each year in Australia is made up of skin cancers? This is an alarming rate and one that needs to be reduced. The three main types of skin cancers that effect Australians are:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and should be treated as soon as noticed. Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are known as keratinocyte cancers, with these two being more common in men than women.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
There are different symptoms that can contribute to skin cancer and it is important to keep an eye out and if you notice any of the symptoms than get them checked straight away.
Becoming familiar with your skin and the look of it can help you to notice if anything changes or does not look right.
Some things to look out for include:
- Sores on the skin that are crusty or not healing over.
- Small lumps that have a red, pearly or pale look to them.
- Freckles or moles that have changed drastically in size or colour over a few weeks or months.
If you notice any of these changes with your skin or new spots appearing, than it is best to get them checked right away. They may need to be tested to confirm if there are any cancerous cells.
What is the treatment of skin cancer?
The type and severity of your skin cancer will determine the type of treatment that will be best suited for you.
When you receive your skin cancer diagnosis early on, it can be as simple as having the skin cancer spot removed. This can be done by a dermatologist or a surgeon who is trained in the removal of cancers.
Our team at Plastic Surgery Queensland are trained in the removal of skin malignant skin lesions with a focus on melanomas. Skin cancer surgery can be completed onsite in our procedures rooms or in the local hospital.
In some cases, skin cancers will require more intensive treatments including chemotherapy and radiology. Palliative care can also be discussed depending on the nature of the cancer and the spread that has occurred.
How do I reduce my risk of skin cancer?
Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, however as you get older your chances increase. Skin cancer is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. It can also be caused by using tanning beds and solariums.
In order to reduce your risk of skin cancer, it is important to practice safe sun habits. This includes such things as wearing a hat and protective clothing when in the direct sunlight. Using a SPF sunscreen when you are outside, whether it is for a long or short period of time. It is also a good idea to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day if possible. This is when the UV rating is at its highest, so a higher chance of you getting burned.
If you use solariums or tanning beds, it is a good idea to limit your exposure. This can be done by shorter visits or longer periods between your visits.
We only get one set of skin and it is crucial that we look after it. If you are concerned about a skin cancer or are looking for the best treatment for a recent diagnosis, get in touch with the team today. We can discuss how we can assist and help you on your way to a healthy lifestyle.