MedCentres Skin Checks
On the Gold Coast, the prevalence of skin cancer is on the rise and currently accounts for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers.
Statistics indicate that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with a form of skin cancer by the time they turn 70 years old, with Australia attaining the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. We are committed to providing a quality, patient focused skin care check to ensure preventative education, early detection, and rapid treatment. Visit one of the MedCentres skin cancer clinics today.
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER:
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
IMPORTANCE OF EARLY DETECTION:
The quicker a skin cancer can be detected and treated, the better patient outcomes can be attained.
It is recommended to talk to your doctor about your level of risk and for advice on prevention and early detection. Become familiar with your skin, and notice changes which may be indicative of skin cancer formation. These changes can include: 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 short period of time.
If you notice any changes or are concerned, please contact your doctor. They will be able to perform a biopsy, if required, or refer you to a specialist if needed.
TREATING SKIN CANCER:
The majority of skin cancers are removed. In more advanced skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to make sure that all of the cancerous cells have been removed.
Common skin cancers can be treated with ointments or radiation therapy. In more extreme cases surgery (under a local anaesthetic), cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the cancer off), curettage (scraping) or cautery (burning) can also be used to treat/ remove cancerous tissue.
WHAT PUTS YOU AT RISK:
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.
The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.
Sunburn has been associated with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
In Australia almost 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children are sunburnt on summer weekends. Many people get sunburnt when they are taking part in water sports and activities at the beach or a pool, as well gardening at home or having a barbeque.
People are also sunburnt on cooler or overcast days when they mistakenly believe UV radiation is not as strong. This is untrue – you can still be sunburnt when the temperature is cool.
Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.
PROTECTING YOUR SKIN:
For best protection, we recommend a combination of sun protection measures:
- Wear sun protective clothing (Cover as much of this skin as possible)
- Apply a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen. Put on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every 2 hours after.
- Wear a hat to protect your face, neck, head and ears.
- Wear sunglasses (that meet the Australian Standards)
- Extra care should be taken between 10am and 3pm when UV levels reach their peak.