Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. In Australia, most skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. Skin cancers can affect anyone, but the risk increases significantly as you get older.
While SmartClinics Doctors encourage everyone to have an annual skin check, it’s also important to check your own skin once a month so you’ll notice quickly if any changes occur. We can all take control of monitoring our own skin regularly to avoid skin cancers from going undiagnosed.
But what does skin cancer look like?
If you have moles, lumps or freckles on your skin, it’s important to know what to look for when checking your own skin for any changes. A simple guide is to follow the ABCDE of melanoma detection – the most serious form of skin cancer. Find out what to look for using this easy guide here.
If you can’t see a mole or spot on your back, ask a friend to inspect it for you. Early detection can make all the difference in the world, with about 95% of skin cancers being treatable if found early.
Why the heavy focus on skin cancer in Australia?
Skin cancer accounts for about 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in Australia.
So, let’s look at the 2021 statistics (source Cancer Australia):
- 16,687 new cases of melanoma of the skin were diagnosed in Australia
- That’s 11.2% of all new cancer cases in Australia for that year
- 1,315 died from melanoma of the skin or 2.7% of all deaths from cancer
If you haven’t had your skin checked in the last year CLICK HERE for a list of SmartClinics Doctors who are highly experienced in performing skin checks, then use the drop-down field to select your location.