Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Skin cancer can also appear on skin that has not had direct sun contact which makes it important to keep a close eye on what your skin looks like and monitor for any changes.
Early detection, diagnosis and removal of skin cancers reduces the chances of spreading and can make the procedure far less invasive. More advanced skin cancers require some of the surrounding tissue to also be removed to ensure the cancerous cells have been eliminated.
Common skin cancers can be treated with ointments or radiation therapy. They can also be removed with surgery (usually under a local anaesthetic), cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the cancer off), curettage (scraping) or cautery (burning).
Every year, in Australia:
- skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
- between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
- GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
- the incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
For more information please visit the official Cancer Council Australia website here.
At Hyperdome Doctors we offer skin screening, surveillance, diagnosis and management. For more information or to discuss your individual risk level please contact us to make an appointment.