With the onset of the warmer months now is a good time to get your skin sorted out.
Australians’ outdoor lifestyle combined with at-risk skin types are the main factors contributing to our high incidence of sun damage and skin cancer. The South Coast has a particularly high rate of skin cancer amongst retirees.
Most people are aware that UV exposure directly causes skin cancer but it is not well appreciated that UV rays also suppress the skin’s unique immune system. People should check their own skin enlisting someone to help check their back etc. It would be a good idea to have ones skin checked at the annual GP visit. A referral to a dermatologist may be appropriate in diagnosis and treatment.
With early detection 95% of skin cancer is completely curable using simple treatment techniques. Fair skinned individuals, particularly those who have a history of acute sunburn in childhood, have a greater risk of the deadlier melanoma even at a younger age.
It is well-known that wearing a broad brimmed hat, adequate clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen, as well as avoiding the hottest time of the day, are still important even in older age groups because sun damage is cumulative. Non-melanoma skin cancer is directly related to longer term solar damage.
Early detection of skin cancer, apart from being potentially life-saving reduces costs not only in suffering but also reduces monetary cost to both the individual and the community.