Skin cancer is a disease whose incidence is increasing in our country gradually. There are, broadly speaking, two major types of skin cancer:
- the nonmelanoma skin cancer (including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma),
- The malignant melanoma.
The incidence of melanoma is 8 / 100,000 inhabitants per year and that of non-melanoma skin cancer is 160 / 100,000 inhabitants per year. Skin cancer is the most frequent of all those that affect the human being, with basal cell carcinoma being the most usual, although less aggressive, and malignant melanoma one of the most deadly and that can appear in young people, unlike other types of cancer.
Risk factors: Avoid them at all costs for skin cancer prevention!
In all types of skin cancer, sun exposure plays a fundamental role, but there are other factors as well, such as genetic predisposition, phototype (skin colour, light hair and eyes will be more dangerous), burns in childhood, etc., which increase the risk of suffering from this type of cancer.
Skin Cancer Prevention in Melbourne is always better than cure!
In skin cancer, prevention is a fundamental pillar, since it has been seen that a correct photoprotection can prevent an important percentage of this type of cancer. In fact, it is known that 80% of the accumulated radiation is received before the age of 18. The use of sunscreens in photoexposed areas in the first 20 years of life reduces the risk of skin cancer by 85%.
Intermittent solar exposure, derived from Western lifestyle habits (exposure on the beach during the summer months), exposure in the first decades of life and other similar habits increase the risk of skin cancer.
How can we prevent the occurrence of skin cancer?
- Avoid sun exposure between 11 and 16 hours,
- Use photoprotection also on cloudy days,
- Avoid long sun exposures,
- Avoid exposure to artificial ultraviolet radiation (tanning booths),
- Use the appropriate sunscreen for each type of skin or area of the body (cream, spray, milk or gel), phototype, age and exposure circumstances.
Renew the application of sunscreen at 2 hours and after each bath.
- Do not use too much colognes, deodorants or other cosmetics.
- Monitor changes in colour, shape or size of freckles or moles and consult an accredited skin cancer doctor for any changes.
- Protect the eyes with sunglasses that have 100% UV protection.
- Use the highest photoprotection. In the oncological patient, this higher protection will not be limited only to the first solar exposures, but during all exposures.
- Extreme precautions must be maintained on the most sensitive parts of the body to the sun for skin cancer prevention in Melbourne: face, neck, bald head, shoulders, neckline, ears, hands and insteps.
Early diagnostics of skin cancer helps!
Also framed within the prevention, the role of early diagnosis is paramount, since it is capable of reducing mortality, especially in the case of melanoma, and of reducing the morbidity of the rest of skin cancers.
For the early diagnosis, a visit to a skin doctor is essential, but the surveys show that most of the Australians have never gone to the dermatological consultation, even having a history of skin cancers in the family. Public awareness campaigns convey the importance of skin self-examination following the ABCDE rule where, moles with Asymmetry, irregular Border, different Colour, Diameter greater than 6mm and Evolution (which come out new, change, itch, bleed, etc.), a visit to an Accredited Skin Cancer Doctor is recommended.
We have an excellent tool to help early diagnosis of skin cancer: digital dermatoscopy, which allows us to take a global picture of the patient and also microscopic images of each of the moles, which will allow a comprehensive and effective monitoring, so that, if new lesions appear or those already existing suffer changes, they can be diagnosed quickly. In this way, effective treatment with an excellent prognosis can be proposed.
In recent years, an increase in melanoma survival has been detected due to the diagnosis and early treatment of melanoma. Mortality usually occurs around 65 years of age and represents a very minor fraction of cancer deaths in our country.
Let us all beat skin cancer together!
In melanoma or skin cancer detection, close follow-up by means of digital dermatoscopy will be essential, and in the presence of a suspicious lesion it is better to carry out an early treatment, which is associated with an excellent prognosis.
Also read our blog “Don’t Miss Out on Skin Cancer Prevention” to understand more about types of skin cancer and their uncanny traits.
For booking an appointment with us or for any other specifics on skin cancer prevention in Melbourne, visit us at www.nitai.com.au.