hen you are diagnosed with skin cancer it can be a scary conversation. The C word is one no one wants to hear, but the earlier it is caught the better the outcome will be. In Australia we have a high rate of skin cancer due to our hot climate. Out of every three Australians, approximately two will receive a skin cancer diagnosis before the age of 70. While melanoma is often the most serious, it isn’t the only type of cancer to be concerned with. There are three main skin cancer types with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. They all vary in appearance and seriousness, and in the following article we will discuss the survival rates for each:
This is classed as non-melanoma skin cancer and is the most common form of skin cancer. It isn’t as dangerous as the others, but it is still important to get checked. This is a slow growing cancer and can present itself as lumpy, dry or scaly and will be red or pearl in colour. Basal cell carcinoma generally won’t spread to other areas of the body which is why it is less of a concern than the more serious melanoma. The survival rate for this type of cancer is extremely high, particularly when caught early. Most people who are diagnosed are over 50 and death is rare. Basal cell carcinoma is treated by either surgical or non-surgical therapy with a cure rate of up to 98%.
Similar to the basal cell carcinoma, this is classed as a non-melanoma skin cancer and between the two there are over 750,000 people being treated per year in Australia. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for up to 20% of non-melanoma skin cancers and can look like a wart or an open sore, and be red, pink, yellow or shiny in appearance. When diagnosed early the prognosis is generally good, however it can be life threatening if left untreated. This type of cancer can potentially spread quickly to other areas of the body over a short period of time, and if this occurs it is considered to be aggressive. When treatment is started early there is a survival rate of 95%.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and there will be an estimated 14,320 new cases being diagnosed by the end of this year. This is more common in males and it is predicted there will be 1,905 deaths in Australia for 2018. It is the third most common type of cancer in Australia and this is attributed to the sun’s UV rays. When treated early, melanoma is almost always curable. However, the statistics are still scary with one Australian dying every five hours due to the disease. Melanoma will look like an abnormal mole and may appear as though it is asymmetrical. The border may be blurred, and the colour may be inconsistent throughout. These are normally bigger than the size of a pencil eraser and you may notice changes occurring to the shape and size.
It is important to remember that all skin cancers can be potentially dangerous, and delaying diagnosis could put you in harm’s way. At My Skin Centre we can expertly diagnose and treat any cancer with our skin and body checks
Please contact us today to book an appointment, it may just save your life.
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