- Of Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), BCC is the most common of all diagnosed skin cancers (70-85%), but is least dangerous.
- Melanoma, while the least common skin cancer (5%), is the most life-threatening due to its ability to quickly spread to other parts of the body forming new tumors.
- Melanoma can occur on parts of your skin that are seldom exposed to the sun, such as underneath your breasts, in between your toes and even in around your genitals so it’s critical that all areas are thoroughly checked.
- Skin ageing and skin cancer are delayed effects that don’t present themselves for many years after exposure so many people are unaware of the damage being done.
- Most people living in Australia will have developed irreversible skin damage by the time they are 15.
- Research shows as little as one severe sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person’s risk of skin cancer later in life.
- A tan does not equal healthy. Tanning causes irreversible damage that can cause freckles, blotches, wrinkles and, at its worst, skin cancer.
- Our bodies get enough Vitamin D simply by sitting near a window or from as little as a few minutes outside during the day
- Don’t be fooled by the temperature as it does not have an impact on UV ray levels.
The harsh Australian climate means we need to be as vigilant as ever when it comes to protecting our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. This means being sun smart during every day activities, not just when you’re at the beach, playing sport or by the pool.
7 tips to stay protected between appointments:
- Cover up any exposed skin as much as possible.
- Apply a minimum of SPF30+ water-resistant sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun and re-apply every two hours.
- Seek shaded areas if spending a long time outdoors and don’t be fooled by cool or overcast conditions.
- Wear sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat outside during daylight hours (especially between 10am – 3pm).
- Be aware of changes to your skin and ask a friend or family member to keep an eye out for any freckles, marks or moles that may have changed shape or texture that aren’t easily seen.
- If you suspect something is not quite right, don’t wait, get it checked by a skin cancer specialist.
- Book yourself in for a skin cancer check once every year, or more frequently if you have a family history of skin cancer.