Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with more than 750,000 people treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year. Non-melanoma skin cancer is more common in men, with almost double the incidence compared to women. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.
Skin cancer generally stands out as being different to surrounding skin. If a spot strikes you as being a bit abnormal, it is worth getting it checked out. Skin cancer mostly appears as a new and unusual looking spot. It may also appear as an existing spot that has changed in colour, size or shape.
Preventing Skin Cancer:
- 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.
$75 - Medicare rebate available.