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Facts about skin cancer
Friday, November 21, 2003
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Incidence and mortality rates: national
Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia.
8,300 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and 900 die of melanoma each year.
One in 23 males and one in 33 females in Australia will develop melanoma by the age of 75.
270,000 cases of non-melanocytic skin cancers are diagnosed nationally each year.
Unprotected exposure to the sun in the first 15 years of life more than doubles the chances of getting skin cancer later in life.
Minimise time in the sun between 11am and 3pm (daylight saving time).
Use shade wherever you can including trees, shelters and umbrellas.
Slip! on a shirt made from tightly woven fabric, with sleeves and a high neck or collar and other clothing that covers the skin.
Slop! on a broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30+.
Slap! on a wide brimmed hat or legionnaire’s cap, that shades the face, neck and ears.
And don’t forget the sunglasses in a close fitting, wrap around style. Make sure they meet Australian Standard AS1067 offering 99% protection from UV rays.
The earlier a skin cancer is detected the better the chance of successful treatment. Basal cell carcinomas and Squamous cell carcinomas are successfully treated in almost 100% of cases.
The five-year survival rate for melanoma is more than 90%.
Be on the look out for: any new spot or unusual freckle, mole, sunspot or unhealing sore; a spot that looks different from other spots around it; a spot that has changed colour, size or shape over a few weeks or months.
Consult your doctor if you have any of these signs.
For more information, visit the
NSW Cancer Council
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