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Skin Checks

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Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. There are two types of skin cancer: Melanoma and non-melanoma.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancer, also known as keratinoctye cancer, refers to a group of cancers that slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as the most common types of non-melanoma cancer. 

Symptoms of BCC may include:

  • Small and smooth lumps that are pearly white, pink or red

  • Raised and scaly patches

  • A sore that bleeds, doesn't heal or comes back after healing

  • A growth that has small blood vessels on the surface 

Symptoms of SCC may include:

  • A thickened, red and scaly spot

  • A rapidly growing lump

  • A sore that doesn't heal or comes back after healing

  • A growth that looks like a wart

  • A sore that is crusty, itchy or irritated

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes. Melanoma is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not detected and treated at an early stage.  

Risk Factors

More than half of all Australians will develop some form of skin cancer, which kills around 2,000 people every year. Every Australian is at risk but the risk increases if you have:

  • Fair or freckled skin 

  • Red or fair hair 

  • Light-coloured eyes (blue or green) 

  • Skin that burns easily and doesn't tan 

  • Been exposed to intense periods of UV radiation (e.g. while working or playing outdoor sports) 

  • Tanned or used solariums 

  • Previous or family history of skin cancer 

  • Sunspots or many unusual moles (dysplastic nevi) on their skin.

Book your Skin Check

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers is essential.

Please make an appointment with one of our doctors for a full skin examination if you:

  • have a personal or family history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers

  • have multiple dysplastic nevi

  • notice a new or existing lesion that is increasing in size, changing in colour, or behaving in any way that is consistent with the symptoms of skin cancer.

Read more: The ABCDE guideline for checking your skin (Melanoma Institute Australia)

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