In Australia skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, contributing to 80% of total cancer diagnosis.
While not all skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun, 95-99% of skin cancers are. Australians practically spend their lives in the sun which is why so many Australians are sufferers of this potentially fatal disease. Due to our high risk potential for skin cancer, it is important that you receive regular skin cancer checks from your general practitioner or a specialist.
Most people know that the physical signs of this type of cancer are generally cancerous moles, freckles or sunspots. There are technical names for these conditions and types of cancer including:
- Melanoma (freckle-like in appearance and blotchy) which is the most deadly form
- Nodular Melanoma (mole-like in appearance)
- Basal Cell Cacinoma (dark skin-colour raised lump or scaly area)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (pink scaly area that can appear crusty and bleed)
If you notice any of the following changes occur in the types of lesions above you may need a skin cancer assessment and removal of the cancerous lesion:
- Assymetrical freckles that appear blotchy
- A change in colour (either a change over time in multiple colour in the one pigmented lesion)
- A change in the size
- A notched appearance (as if the pigmentation is spreading via extending smaller blotches)
These are all problematic symptoms as it signifies that the cancer is spreading. This type of cancer can become fatal when it mestastises (spreads throughout the body) as this can become untreatable. This is why it’s important to have the area removed and treated before this occurs. Dr Anh can perform skin cancer removal at her Perth plastic surgery location where she performs a range of cosmetic and medical procedure for the wellbeing of her patients.
Skin cancer removal
Commonly the appearance of skin cancer on the epidermis is deceiving. There is generally more infected tissue expanding below the pigmented lesion, which is why skin cancer is so dangerous. Dr Anh will use either a topical or local anaesthetic in order to numb the area. Once this is complete she will create an incision and remove the damaged tissue. This is generally performed in layers in order to determine the depth of the cancerous tissue.
Skin Cancer Check FAQs
Skin cancer can occur on practically any part of the body. Most people get skin cancer on their:
They can also occur on your legs, buttocks, feet – anywhere that the sun touches (even rarely). If you are prone to freckles it is especially important that you regularly see a GP that can evaluate your skin and look for changes. You should also get a partner or friend to check your skin on a regular basis.
No, not all pigmented lesions are cancerous. Some are just the skin absorbing too much melanin which permanently discolours that small part of the skin. If you are unsure about a freckle or if you have noticed any changes please consult your GP.
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Skin Cancer Check
For more information on Skin Cancer Check, please contact our friendly team today. If you are ready for a consultation about your desired treatment or procedure please call Dr Anh today on (08) 9322 2659