Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with 2 out of 3 Australians being diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. This means that skin cancer prevention and early detection is essential.
The risk of developing skin cancer increases as we age and is caused by our exposure to UV radiation from sunlight, which is especially relevant in a country that enjoys spending time outdoors.
Skin cancer risk is not limited to people with fair skin, as people with darker skin tones can still develop skin cancer. Skin cancer can also develop on parts of the body that do not receive sun exposure.
As it’s in our name, Shire Doctors and Dentists is based in the Sutherland Shire of NSW and a beach-going culture is prevalent every hot day of the year. To seek a local check-up on your skin, contact us today.
It is important for people to receive regular whole-body skin check-ups, regardless of skin color, as anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer.
Risk factors that increase the chance of developing skin cancer include having a family history of skin cancer, a previous diagnosis of skin cancer, being harshly sunburnt in the past, particularly in younger years, using a solarium, having a large number of moles and freckles on the body, and working in outdoor environments.
If you have noticed any changes to your skin, such as non-healing, crusty sores, red, pale, or pearly-colored small lumps on the skin, new spots, freckles, or moles that change in color, thickness, and shape over a period of weeks, or painful, bleeding, or fast-growing lesions, it is important to consult your GP or dermatologist.
During a skin check, your doctor will examine your entire body using a handheld microscope that magnifies and illuminates the skin. This includes areas of the body that are not normally exposed to sunlight. Any suspicious areas, moles, or lesions will be noted, and the doctor will discuss with you any necessary biopsies or excision treatments to remove any identified skin cancers.
The entire check-up can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.
To prevent skin cancer, the Cancer Council recommends wearing sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible, using water-resistant SPF 50+ sunscreen, wearing a hat and sunglasses, resting in the shade, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun.
It is important to note that these recommendations are general, and people who work or play outside every day need to follow stricter measures to prevent skin cancer.
At Shire Doctors and Dentists in Caringbah, we offer skin checks to help ensure that any skin cancers can be identified and treated early before they spread. Our GPs will assess your medical history and perform a thorough examination of your skin to detect any suspicious areas. To book an appointment or to learn more about our skin cancer treatments, please call us at 02 9063 8650 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.