Because of Australia’s climate we have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.
According to the Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they're 70. All Australians, regardless of skin colour, who spend time in the sun are at risk of skin cancer.
Risk factors include:
- Failing to use sun protection, or inadequate sun protection (according to the Cancer Council, sunburn causes 95% of melanomas)
- Working or spending a lot of time in the sun
- Using solariums, sunlamps or tanning beds
- Family history of skin cancer
- Spots or moles
The importance of prevention can’t be underestimated, so – Slip (on a shirt), Slop (on sunscreen) and Slap (on a hat). The Cancer Council Australia has information about how to protect yourself.
Early detection is a key element in successfully treating skin cancer. As skin tumours are visible, the Cancer Council Australia recommends you check your skin regularly. Ask a family member or friend to check areas of your body which are hard for you to see, such as your back.
Seek immediate help for any new skin spots, or changes to existing spots or moles. Your doctor may perform a skin biopsy on areas of concern.