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