Treating Skin Cancer
Skin cancers are almost always removed. In more advanced skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to make sure that all of the cancerous cells have been taken out.
Common skin cancers can be treated with ointments or radiation therapy. They can also be removed with surgery (usually under a local anaesthetic), cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the cancer off), curettage (scraping) or cautery (burning).
What puts you at risk?
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer, though the risk increases as you get older.
The majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.
Sunburn has been associated with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
In Australia almost 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children are sunburnt on summer weekends. Many people get sunburnt when they are taking part in water sports and activities at the beach or a pool, as well gardening at home or having a barbeque.
People are also sunburnt on cooler or overcast days when they mistakenly believe UV radiation is not as strong. This is untrue – you can still be sunburnt when the temperature is cool.
Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.
A tan is not a sign of good health or wellbeing, despite many Australians referring to a “healthy tan”. Fifty per cent of Australian adults still hold the misguided belief that a tan looks healthy.
Tanning is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation (from the sun or solarium) to damage your skin. This will eventually cause loss of elasticity (wrinkles), sagging, yellowish discolouration and even brown patches to appear on your skin. Worst of all, it increases your risk of skin cancer.
A tan will offer limited protection from sunburn, but usually no more than SPF4, depending on your skin type. It does not protect from DNA damage, which can lead to skin cancer.Pages: 1 2 3 4 5