Skin Cancer Information 2019-04-14T16:40:31+00:00

Skin Cancer Information

2 in 3 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, according to the Cancer Council of Australia.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with approximately two out of three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancers occurs when skin cells are damaged due to overexposure from UV radiation from the sun. There are 3 main types of skin cancer.

Melanomas are the most dangerous type of skin cancer and can affect young adults as well as older people. It is due to the uncontrolled growth of pigment cells name melanocytes, and can arise within normal skin or within an existing mole or freckle. It may look like an abnormal spot of skin or a mole that has changed in appearance.

Squamous cell carcinomas are a common type of skin cancer, arising from the cells that make keratin within the layer of your skin called the epidermis. These type of skin cancers may be in-situ (limited to the epidermis), or they may be invasive (when they have extended beyond the epidermis)

Squamous cell carcinomas have the potential to spread to other organs of the body. They may take the appearance of a crusted nodule that may ulcerate.

Basal cell carcinomas are slow-growing, locally invasive skin cancers. Basal cell carcinomas arise from the basal cells within the epidermis of your skin. Early lesions may appear like small, translucent or pearly lumps, but they may also form an ulcer. Other forms may appear like a slowly growing plaque.

Other sun related changes to the skin include solar keratoses, which are also known as actinic keratosis or sunspots. The causes for solar keratoses include previous sunburn, excessive sun exposure, which can be from work or recreational activities, and a weakened immune system. Solar keratoses are considered pre-cancerous, with a possibility of these eventually transforming into squamous cell cancers.

Sometimes the only sign of a development of skin cancer is change in appearance of a mole or spot. If this has happened to you, or if you have sun damaged skin, make an appointment and our Skin Cancer Doctors can provide an assessment.

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