Read this article to understand the various facets of Skin cancer in Australia. According to various health websites, this disease is the dominant form of all kinds of cancer in Australia. In 2016, more than 13,000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed. More than 10% of this number died of that disease.
Over the years, the ratio of people diagnosed with skin cancer has risen from 27/100000 in 1982 to 49/100000 in 2016. However, the incidence of cancer in people below 40 has gone down from 13/100000 in 2002 to 9.6/100000 in 2016. This means skin cancer will be more widespread among the elderly.
It is estimated that in the next few years, the absolute number of people diagnosed with skin cancer will rise rapidly. This has got to do with increased life expectancy.
Causes of Skin Cancer in Australia
There are many factors behind skin cancer. Before we proceed on this subject, let’s understand the three different kinds of skin cancer. These are basal, squamous and melanoma skin cancers.
The first two can be cured easily; these cancers are relatively common too. Melanoma, on the other hand, is uncommon and is more dangerous. It is difficult to detect, and by the time doctors can sense it, the damage has been done.
Melanoma occurs when melanin, the pigment that makes our skin pigment, is involved. The leading cause of skin cancer is due to over-exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This leads to the multiplication of all the three types of skin cells. Too much multiplication of these cells often leads to their metastasization. This means that these multiplying cells spread to other parts of the body.
You can also develop skin cancer due to the tanning of your skin. If you have been using tanning beds and lamps for a long time, you might get skin cancer.
Risk Factors of Skin Cancer
Some people are more prone to skin cancer than others. What are the associated risk factors?
1- Sunny Areas:
If you live in a bright area, you risk getting skin cancer. People who live in these areas can be overexposed to the sun, and this may damage your skin cells. Many Australians get skin cancer because they live in cities, which receive very high solar radiation.
2- High Altitude:
People living in mountainous regions are also more likely to develop skin cancer. High altitudes get more sunlight than the plains.
3- Skin Colour:
People who have lighter skin fall in high-risk groups. If you have light hair, ad-light eyes, you fall into a high-risk group. People who freckle in sunlight can also develop skin cancer. This doesn’t mean that dark-skinned people don’t have skin cancer. If you think you are in a high-risk group, you may consider visiting one of the many cancer specialists in Australia like Sundoctors.
4- Previous Skin Cancer History:
If you have had this disease in the past, you might get it again. People who have had skin cancer histories fall in high-risk groups.
5- Family History:
Similarly, if someone in your family has had a history of skin cancer, then you are in the high-risk group. Consider visiting a doctor for some preventive advice.
Men are more likely to have skin cancer than women.
As one ages, the accumulated sunburn in one’s body also increases. This increases skin cancer risk. However, the risk also increases when you overexpose yourself at your young age.
8- Immune Systems:
Certain viruses weaken our immune systems, and this may also cause skin cancer.