RISKS

Most of us know that protecting our skin from the sun is the most important step to preventing skin cancer.

But what if your skin hasn’t always been protected?
Maybe you can’t always avoid the sun?
Or perhaps there is a history of skin cancer in your family?

Preventing skin cancer is also about knowing your risk level. The most effective management is early detection and treatment.

It’s your doctor’s job to diagnose skin cancer, but you will know better than anyone else if something on your skin is new or changing – two important early warning signs. Remember – together with sun protection, early detection is your best defence against skin cancer.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT SKIN CANCER?

> Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world
> Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
> More than 90% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
> Melanoma is the most common life threatening cancer in the 15 to 44 year age group
> Melanoma is the third most common life threatening cancer in both men and women overall

FRECKLING – 2 times more at risk, immature melanin formation and reduced risk

RED HAIR – 4 times more at risk, immature melanin formation and reduced protection

ALBINO – no pigment and hence no protection

SKIN CONDITIONS – vitiligo and previous depigmentation due to skin conditions  and cryotherapy also cause depigmentation and increase risk

SUNBURNING – UV damage to genetic material and skin immunity

FAMILY HISTORY – inherited gentic material

ATYPICAL NEAEVI – 6 mm and bigger moles with varied border and more then one pigment type

MORE THAN 100 SKIN BROWN SPOTS

OCCUPATION – UV exposure, reduced ozone protection

OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS – immuno – compromised individuals who have had organ transplants, take medications such as prednisone, methotrexate  and other immuno- suppresants

AGE – age related cumulative UV load and age related deterioration of genes