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3 Facts About Skin Cancer You Can’t Ignore

Are you well informed about skin cancer? It’s an important question, because this kind of information could save your life or the life of someone close to you. Prevention is better than a cure, which is why public awareness programs such as Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide have been pushed by the Cancer Council. This has created some awareness, but more needs to be done to help Australians seek professional help to ward off skin cancer. One of the easiest things the population can do is a mole self-check at home, and then to go for an annual skin cancer check with a doctor. Why is this so important? This article outlines three facts about skin cancer you can’t afford to ignore.

Australia’s High Rates of Skin Cancer

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer around the globe. This means that your likelihood of getting skin cancer during your lifetime in Australia is disproportionally high. This could be due to Australia’s sunny climate, the amount of UV rays reaching us from the skies, and the holes in the ozone layer. The reason doesn’t really matter, because all you need to know is that you should do everything in your power to protect yourself from skin cancer. This means following the Cancer Council’s advice to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide – slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses. Of course, you should also get a regular skin cancer check from a professional for any suspicious moles. 

 Skin Cancer Affects All Ages

You might think that only certain people are likely to get skin cancer – older people perhaps, or those who play a lot of sport outdoors. But the truth is, even incidental sun damage to the skin can cause skin cancer over time. Skin cancer can affect anyone, no matter what their age or occupation. There are certain risk factors, however. If you have lighter skin, lots of moles or a family history of skin cancer, you have a higher likelihood, and you should be particularly on the ball when it comes to getting a regular skin cancer check from a doctor. But these risk factors aside, anyone can get skin cancer at any age, so make sure you’re diligent in continuing your self-checks at home using the ABCDE guide and getting a skin cancer check annually.

Annual Skin Cancer Deaths

Every year, more than 2000 Australians die of skin cancer. To put that into perspective, in 2019, the total number of deaths from car crashes was 1194. While it might be easier for awareness campaigns to express the danger of falling asleep behind the wheel, or being distracted while driving, it seems there’s still a long way to go in getting across the dangers of skin cancer to the general public. This is particularly tragic, as when caught early, skin cancer can often be treated with a high level of success for a positive outcome for the patient. This is a big reason why an annual skin cancer check is so important. Finding a skin cancer early opens up more options for effective treatment.

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