Skin Safety – Skin Cancer May 2009. Skin Safety – Skin Cancer About skin cancer What is skin cancer? Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for

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  • Skin Safety Skin CancerMay 2009

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerAbout skin cancer

    What is skin cancer?

    Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Between 95 and 99% of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to the sun

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerTypes of skin cancer

    There are three main types of skin cancer:melanoma the most dangerous form of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma* squamous cell carcinoma* *Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are known as non-melanoma skin cancer.

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerEarly detectionThe sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.It is also a good idea to talk to yourdoctor about your level of risk and for advice on early detection. Check your skin regularly to pick up any changes that might suggest a skin cancer. Look for:any crusty, non-healing sores small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months (especially those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour). If you notice any changes consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may perform a biopsy (remove a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope) or refer you to a specialist if he/she suspects a skin cancer.

  • Skin Safety Skin Cancer

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerSkin cancer facts & figuresIn Australia, every year:skin cancers account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers. two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancerby the time they are 70. GPsin Australiahave over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer. around 434,000people are treated for non-melanoma skin cancers, of which more than 400 die. more than 10,000 people are treated for melanoma, of which more than 1200 die. melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged 15-44 years. melanoma is the third most common cancer in bothwomen and men. Australia has one ofthe highest incidences of skin cancer in the world, at nearly four times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK. the rate of melanoma incidence in women has risen by an average of 0.7% a year between 1993 and 2003 a total increase of 6.8% over this decade. For men, the rate has risen by 1.7% a year, a total of 18.7% over the same period. the five-year relative survival rate for melanoma is 90% for Australian men and 95% for Australian women. skin cancer is the most expensive cancer. In 2001, it was estimated the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer cost $264 million and melanoma $30 million. GP consultations to treat non-melanoma skin cancer increased by 14% between 1998-2000 and 2005-2007 from around 836,500 to 950,000 visits each year.

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerWhat puts you at risk?Australia has one ofthe highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone canbe at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure toUV radiation in sunlight. SunburnSunburn has been associated with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. In Australia almost 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children are sunburnt on summer weekends. Many people get sunburnt when they are taking part in water sports and activities at the beach or a pool, as well gardening at home or having a barbeque. People are also sunburnt on cooler or overcast days when they mistakenly believe UV radiation is not as strong. This is untrue you can still be sunburnt when the temperature is cool. Sun exposure that doesn't result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.

  • Skin Safety Skin Cancer

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerPreventing skin cancer Protect your skinFor best protection, we recommend a combination of sun protection measures:Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun. Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears Seek shade Slide on some sunglasses make sure they meet Australian Standards

  • Skin Safety Skin CancerFor more information please visit http://www.cancer.org.au/cancersmartlifestyle/SunSmart.htm