Fresh into 2019, many of us have still have one more week of festive fun before the return to work. More time with friends and family also means more potential outdoor events, exposing your skin to UV rays.
From our work with the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) we’ve learnt all about the harmful effects of the sun, particularly when it results in skin cancer.
Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they reach 70, and unsurprisingly, Australia reports the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
The good news is you can catch skin cancer early. Earlier this year during our ACD campaign, we spoke with Professor Whiteman from QIMR Berghofer, who shed light on the early warning signs:
One of our patients from the campaign is far too familiar with how skin cancer can creep up on you. Tony, co-founder of an IT company and father-to-three, was only 32 when he discovered an unusual spot on his right wrist.
As an avid surfer who spent much of his time outdoors, particularly during summer, Tony was shocked when he received a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma.
“You don’t expect to get skin cancer at the age of 32. You think your risk is no more than anyone else,” said Tony.
According to Dr Alex Varol, dermatologist and Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, who has witnessed the devastating impact of skin cancer throughout her career, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.
“It’s crucial that all Australians, particularly men, prioritise their skin health, by performing regular self-skin checks for changing or non-healing marks, and visit a doctor as soon as they notice anything suspicious,” Dr Varol said.
If you’re spending New Years Day at the beach, remember to protect your skin. For more information, head to https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/preventing-skin-cancer/