Skin cancer is a common affliction amongst the Australia population. The combination of fair skin, an affiliation for sport and the outdoors and intense sunlight and UV radiation means that we have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.
Whilst Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) are the most common types, Melanoma also presents with alarming frequency. There are a small number of genetic conditions that predispose people to skin cancer, however, the majority of cases are related to sun exposure.
Sun protection and UV radiation awareness are now ingrained in our society, however, often the damage has been done many years ago when people were actively encouraged to go outside to “get some colour”. Being sun-smart, however, is still important even on a background of previous significant exposure to ensure the damage is not compounded.
The most important message in skin cancer treatment is prevention. With this belongs education, awareness, early detection and then appropriate management.
Follow this link to the cancer council’s website with more information on skin cancer prevention.
Treatment of skin cancers varies according to the type and location. Topical therapies including cryotherapy, Efudix cream and Aldara cream may be suitable for superficial lesions. Other lesions may require surgical treatment and reconstructions with skin grafts or flaps.
*It is important to have your GP check any skin lesions you are concerned about and perform a biopsy or refer you to a specialist dermatologist or plastic surgeon as appropriate.