In Australia each year more than 2,000 people die of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is common in Australia. Approximately two-thirds of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. As summer approaches, these statistics should serve as a wake-up call to all Australians about the importance of sun protection.
Types of skin cancer: Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Australia. Over 750,000 people each year are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia.
Melanoma is the third most common cancer affecting Australians (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented simply by ensuring good sun protection.
Solar keratosis is another form of skin cancer. These are more commonly known as sunspots. New therapies are now available to treat pre-cancerous solar keratosis. These spots can vary in appearance, may appear scaly, rough or wart-like and are common on sites frequently exposed to the sun, such as the backs of the hands and the face.
The ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ campaign, initiated over 35 years ago, has been recognised as one of Australia’s most successful health campaigns. The campaign has more recently been modified to ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide’ (referring to seeking shade and sliding on wraparound sunglasses to prevent sun damage). A combination of these sun protection measures along with getting to know your skin and regularly checking so you can pick up on any changes are the keys to reducing skin cancer risk
It is important to get to know your own skin and identify sun damage. A first step is to check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have doubts about any changes either in skin appearance or in the colour of moles and freckles. A new spot or an existing spot that changes in colour, size or shape should be checked by your doctor. Lockyer Valley Pharmacy can help you when it comes to sense in the sun this summer by helping you to choose the best sunscreen for your skin and provide advice on how to be SunSmart.