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Skin Cancer Risk

Are you at risk?

Australia has by far the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Nearly two thirds of all fair skinned Australians will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime. There are three main types of skin cancers; Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC’s) which comprise around 80% of skin cancers. Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC’s) 15% and Melanoma around 5%. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and claims around 2500 Australians a year.

Melanomas appear as either a new spot/ mole or a change in an existing spot/ mole. If melanoma is detected early the prognosis is usually excellent.

Risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • Advanced age
  • Prior history of skin cancer or sunspots
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Fair skin that burns easily
  • Location of childhood
  • Blistering sunburns
  • Outdoor occupations
  • Solarium use
  • High mole or freckle count
  • Prior tissue transplant recipient