AMA urges patients not to delay seeing their doctor about skin cancer concerns

Whilst COVID-19 is dominating our focus, it is important to remember that we still develop other conditions, some of them potentially fatal if diagnosis is missed or delayed.

Skin cancer accounts for the largest number of cancers diagnosed in Australia each year and the Australian Skin Cancer Clinics provide an essential service in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of all skin cancers.

There are 3 main types of skin cancer – Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. 

Basal cell carcinoma typically appears as a white, waxy lump or a brown, scaly patch on sun exposed areas, such as the face and neck.  Limiting sun exposure can help prevent these cells from becoming cancerous.

Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as flat reddish or brownish patches on the skin, often with a rough, scaly or crusted surface.  They tend to grow slowly and usually occur on sun exposed areas of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, lips and backs of hands.

Melanoma is the deadliest of the skin cancers and sadly 1 Australian dies every 5 hours of Melanoma.  It is also the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year old Australians.

Fortunately, skin cancer is a treatable form of cancer if it is diagnosed early.  It is important to get to know your own skin, if a mole starts to itch, tingle, change colour or shape, you should get it checked. We recommend that you have your skin checked once a year and we have made it easy to visit one of our clinics, there is no referral necessary.