If you are worried about a non-healing sore or a lump on your skin……

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. 

In Australia:

  • the incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
  • excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australians. In 2013, 12,744 Australians were diagnosed with melanoma.
  • approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70; and skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers



Skin cancer symptoms

What you should look for

  • any crusty, non-healing sores
  • small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour
  • new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months (especially those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour).


Treatment of skin cancer

The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better is the patient’s chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.

When a suspicious skin lesion is identified by a doctor who has undertaken training in dermatoscopy, the lesion can be removed by surgical excision. liquid nitrogen,  electrocautery or prescription creams.  Alternatively, the doctor may decide to take a small piece of the affected area and send it to a laboratory for further analysis.

If you have a concern about a mole or lesion raise the matter with your doctor who can then determine whether it is suspicious and what needs to be done about it.  Doctors Hamilton and Gregory have had additional training in this area and treat more complex case.