THE KEY TO TREATMENT OF SKIN CANCER: EARLY DIAGNOSIS
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.
- 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.