FACT SHEET: SKIN CANCER - Providence Medical
Skin Cancer can affect anyone

Did you know each year in Australia:

  • Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers.
  • More than 750,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • We have the highest incident of skin cancer in the world, 2 to 3 times the rates in Canada, the US, and the UK.

What is Skin Cancer?

  • Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • There are three main types of cancer:
    • Basal cell carcinoma.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma.
    • Melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Causes of Skin Cancer:

  • Sunburn
    • Sunburn causes 95% of melanomas.
    • Sunburn is also common on cooler or overcast days.
    • Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Tanning
    • Tanning is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation to damage your skin.
    • Fake tan does not provide protection against UV radiation.

What you should do:

  • The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of a melanoma, potential disfigurement or even death.
  • Become familiar with the look of your skin, so you can 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.

Talk to one of our GP’s today to have a complete skin check-up.