Skin cancers are cancers that arise from the skin. They are due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. There are three main types of skin cancers: basal-cell skin cancer (BCC), squamous-cell skin cancer (SCC) and melanoma. The first two together along with a number of less common skin cancers are known as nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).
While prevention is better than cure, being familiar with your own skin should help you to detect any suspicious lumps or spots as soon as they develop, at a stage when they can be successfully treated.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Each year in Australia, over 1,600 people die from this disease and over 11,000 new cases are diagnosed. Melanoma can grow quickly, developing over weeks to months. If caught early, it is usually treatable. However, if detected in a later stage, it may have already spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
Skin cancer diagnostics and treatment options
At each of our hospitals, you'll find innovative skin cancer treatments and technologies—all under one roof. Our skin cancer experts use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, including advanced imaging and laboratory tests, to evaluate skin cancer. This diagnostic evaluation takes about three to five days.
Then together, we develop a comprehensive skin cancer treatment plan that works for you. Your individualized plan will include advanced medical treatments and technologies, combined with integrative oncology services to help reduce side effects and keep you strong in body, mind and spirit.
This is the most common but least dangerous form of skin cancer. It most often occurs on the head and neck, followed by the upper body. These cancers are often red and slightly raised, with a scaly area that can bleed if knocked. They often become ulcerated as they develop.
For very early-stage melanoma that is only located near where it started, 5-year survival is over 98%. Survival for melanoma that has spread to the nearby lymph nodes is 62%. If melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, survival is 18%. However, survival varies depending on a number of factors.
The costs associated with skin cancer increased five times faster than treatments for any other cancer between 2002 and 2011, according to a study released Monday. The findings suggest that Americans are not diligent about protecting their skin from harmful rays, and that health care costs continue to rise.
[READ What's Behind the Slowdown in Health Care Costs]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found the average annual cost for skin cancer treatment increased 126 percent.
For all other types of cancers during the same time period, the average yearly cost for treatment increased by 25 percent, or five times slower than the cost of skin cancer.
From 2002 to 2006 the treatment costs for skin cancer increased $3.6 billion, and from 2007 to 2011 the costs increased to $8.1 billion. Health officials have known that the number of skin cancer cases has been increasing, but according to the report little was known before this study about the costs of skin cancer treatment.
The report studied skin cancer data on adults between 2002 and 2011 using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which polls families, individual adults, medical providers and employers. The researchers created two five-year periods of data from 2002 to 2006 and from 2007 to 2011.
. Remember about Reflection
Water, sand, snow and concrete can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s damaging rays.
Slop on the Sunscreen
Use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more that contain both UVA and UVB protection.
Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours (more often when working, playing, or swimming).
Avoid tanning salons and sunlamps
These lights emit mostly UVA radiation – up to 2 – 5 times as much as natural sunlight. UVA radiation causes sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
The UVB radiation from tanning lights is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer and also contributes to premature skin aging.
For more information see youth tanning (link to being modified by the school team)