Skin Cancer, Melanoma Awareness

Essential facts about skin cancer

How skin cancer, Australia's most common cancer, is formed.

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 24/01/13

Skin cancer is a disease caused by the abnormal division of human skin cells, and can result in disfigurement or death if left untreated. It is the most common form of cancer in Australia and up to 40 percent of the world's population will develop the disease in the course of a lifetime. While skin cancer can be idiopathic (from an unknown cause) it is thought by most experts that approximately 85 percent of all skin cancer types occur from over exposure to the sun.

Skin Cancer Signs and Symptoms: Basal Cell Carcinoma 

There are several types of skin cancer, the most curable of which is basal cell carcinoma. This type remains localised to the area of the patient's skin where it first appears, and rarely recurs after it is removed by a surgeon. A basal cell lesion will often bleed, form a scab, and then bleed again over the course of several weeks or months. If left untreated this pattern will continue, which prompts most individuals to seek medical attention to discover the cause.

Skin Cancer: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Unlike basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas frequently metastasise (spread) to other parts of the body. Many individuals mistake this kind of cancer for a rash, due to its red bumpy appearance. This type of cancer is highly curable if diagnosed in its early stages; however, if the condition is ignored, the patient's chance for a full recovery is lessened considerably.

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer as it can move from the skin into internal organs where it is very difficult to treat, so prompt diagnosis and early treatment are essential. Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of melanoma in the world with more than 100,00 cases detected every year. This means the chances of getting melanoma are high in this country and living here makes it even more important to be vigilant. Remember, more than half of all melanomas are first recognised by the patient or a close relative so never be shy or brave about a skin lesion that is new or changing. Ask for advice about any skin lesion that worries you at all. Book an appointment with MoleMap as soon possible; remember early detection reduces the risk.

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