Australian Skin Cancer and Melanoma Rates
Mixed messages from Australian Melanoma and Skin Cancer bodies over Australian Incidences of Skin Cancer and Melanoma
Mixed Messages From Cancer Bodies Over Australian Incidences of Skin Cancer
Yesterday one of Australia’s pre-eminent melanoma support organisations reported that melanoma rates have increased by nearly 45 per cent, while earlier this month peak body Cancer Council Australia released conflicting message celebrating a drop in skin cancer rates.
The Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) report, released yesterday, examines the climbing cost of advanced melanoma to the patient and the community, at the same time that the Cancer Council Australia report was celebrating the success of its Slip Slop Slap advertising campaign.
Melbourne Skin Cancer expert Dr Sally Shaw said these mixed messages are particularly concerning because it may make Australians become more complacent to skin cancer.
“Releasing information that skin cancer rates are dropping is misleading because melanoma rates are actually increasing,” she said.
“Melanomas are the least common type of skin cancer, but they are the most dangerous and advanced melanomas are the ones that kill you.”
Dr Shaw said the best ways to detect melanoma are:
· Check your own skin regularly
· Look for new or changing moles
· Check under your clothes and hair
· Have an annual skin check by a doctor
· Consider mole mapping and total body photography
According to the MPA report, the number of melanoma cases in Australia had increased from 8,692 cases in 2000 to some 12,544 cases this year. They are also forecasting that by 2020 those numbers will climb to the 18,000 mark.
For more details on minimising the risk factors for melanoma, types of skin cancer and the best way to detect them visit www.peninsulaskincancercentre.net.au
About Dr Sally Shaw
Dr Shaw is a founding member of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia. She has been treating skin cancers for the last 10 years.
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