Alarming Melanoma Rates at Skin Cancer Clinic
Alarming increase in number of melanoma skin cancer cases detected at local skin cancer clinic. Dr Sally Shaw explains how the melanoma rate has risen by 57% at Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre in 2015. This dramatic increase in the number of melanoma cases at the skin cancer clinic can be attributed to the improved use of dermatoscopy and digital surveillance in skin checks.
Early detection of skin cancer, especially melanoma, saves lives. So get a skin check!
A Mornington Peninsula Skin Cancer Clinic in Victoria Australia has released their annual number of melanoma cases detected in the previous calendar year and the results are shocking.
With just two skin cancer clinics on the Mornington Peninsula, their annual number of melanomas detected has increased from 233 cases in 2014 to 365 melanoma cases in 2015, which is an alarming 57% increase.
“This dramatic increase in melanoma diagnoses is truly shocking as we have had the same number of patient episodes in 2015 as 2014, yet finding so many more melanomas” said Dr Sally Shaw, clinical manager at the skin cancer clinic.
“Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these melanomas are seen in our patients aged 50 plus who have a history of high UV exposure, especially in their childhood.” said Dr Shaw. “Thankfully, the melanoma rate in younger Australians is decreasing mostly due to the successful sun safety campaigns introduced in the 1980’s. The other encouraging news is that 83% of the melanomas found at our clinic are insitu melanomas, contained to the top layers of the skin, and have an excellent 5 year survival rate of 97-100%,” she said.
Dr Shaw believes the use of dermatoscopy and digital surveillance in routine skin checks is responsible for the higher detection rate of melanomas, plus the ongoing education of melanoma detection to the general public. “Our patients are more aware of what changes to look for on their skin and are presenting to the clinic to have these lesions checked in a timely fashion. Combined with an annual skin check, this will help pick up any skin cancers at the earliest stage”.
For more information on skin cancer and melanoma, visit the website www.pscc.net.au
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