It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless — we live in an era where two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the time they hit 70. And the costs of this disease are truly enormous.
When you only look at basal and squamous cell carcinoma, the financial burden on the health system in this country alone is estimated to be more than $700 million per year — a number that experts have predicted to rise exponentially over the next decade.
But when people talk about the costs of skin cancer, they’re not just talking about dollars and cents. Far from it.
Indeed, not every cost associated with skin cancer has an obvious financial price tag associated with it. Yes, treatments and medications are expensive, but the true toll often runs a fair bit deeper than that. There are a number of critical hidden costs that one will go through as they battle with skin cancer, and the key to lessening these issues as much as possible involves getting regular skin checks whenever you can.
The Immediate Financial Impact of Skin Cancer
One of the most prominent “hidden“ costs of skin cancer is also, sadly, the most immediate - diagnosis. According to one recent study, it is estimated that the total lifetime cost for the roughly 150,000 cases of skin cancer that were diagnosed in Australia in 2010 alone amounted to a massive $536 million.
Keep in mind that this is just the costs associated with those diagnosed in a single year. When you also consider the fact that general practitioners in Australia have over one million patient consultations for skin cancer every year, it’s easy to see how this financial burden can balloon so quickly.
This larger expense can be further broken down into a number of smaller categories. You have to consider treatment costs, for example — both in terms of individual patients and the larger toll that this takes on the government and economic development. You have to consider the ongoing cost of medication — remember that a lot of these people will be on at least one medication for the rest of their lives. You also have to take into account the carer costs. These direct costs break down to roughly $10,230 per patient with melanoma and $2336 per patient with non-melanoma per year, every year.
From that perspective, the economic impact alone on Australian society is difficult to understate.
Skin Cancer's Impact on One’s Career
Even going beyond all that, you must also turn your attention to some of the indirect costs associated with skin cancer — namely, the adverse effect that the experience can have on someone’s career on a permanent basis.
If you get diagnosed with skin cancer, regardless of the type or the current stage that it’s at, the physical and emotional impact is absolutely enormous. Going through treatment and constant check-ups is an exhausting process, and it’s often quite painful. Your quality of life is affected almost instantly, and it only continues to deteriorate as time goes on.
At that point, how can you be expected to have a normal career? How can anyone think that you’d be able to get up every morning and go to work, pretending like nothing’s wrong? Both your ability to support yourself and remain contributing members of society tend to suffer because of your circumstance. It’s unthinkable, even for the strongest among us.
The Social Impact of Skin Cancer
Finally, we arrive at perhaps the most crucial hidden cost of skin cancer: the social impact on one’s friends, family members, and other loved ones. As stated, it is often incredibly difficult to lead a normal — or even remotely resembling a normal life — when you’re currently engaged in a battle with skin cancer.
People who have been diagnosed often (understandably) have a difficult time working or providing for their family, if they’re even able to do so at all. This can quickly become tough for all involved. The patient’s family members and friends just want them to lead the most comfortable life possible, but there’s often not anything any one particular person can do.
Likewise, the patients themselves often don’t want to let those around them see how much they’re suffering — which can have a massive negative impact on relationships at the exact same time.
MoleMap: Combating Hidden Costs Together
All of these are some of the many, many reasons why skin checks and other skin cancer detection methods are so important. Even going beyond the fact that they’re an important part of preventing skin cancer or getting diagnosed when it is still in its earliest and most treatable stages, detection helps make sure that these are the types of situations that you do not have to live through moving forward.
MoleMap is proud to offer the most advanced, thorough, and accurate avenue for skin cancer detection available anywhere in the world today.
If you’d like to find out more information about some of the hidden or non-financial costs of skin cancer, or if you’d just like to get your own skin checked so that you’re working from the most accurate and actionable information possible at all times, don’t delay — contact MoleMap today.