Skin cancer facts
Skin cancer in Australia gives detailed information and statistics on a national scale on the subject of skin cancer. This report contains the most recent data and estimations available up to 2016, as well as patterns over the course of time. In addition to describing risk factors, the study includes a section on the limits of data about non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in Australia, as well as a discussion of potential future opportunities.
Cancer of the relative is one of the most common causes of disease in Australia.
In Australia, around one in every four people will be diagnosed with some kind of cancer during their lifetime.
In 2015 it was anticipated that 13,280 new instances of melanoma would be detected in persons in Australia in 2016 and that 1,770 people would pass away as a result of this disease. The age-adjusted incidence rate of melanoma rose from 27 occurrences per 100,000 in 1982 to 49 cases per 100,000 in 2016. This represents a significant increase. On the other hand, the incidence rate for those younger than 40 years old has decreased from its highest point of 13 cases per 100,000 people in 2002 to an anticipated 9.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2016. The age-standardized death rate has increased from 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 1982 to an estimated 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016. This represents a significant increase.
Due to the fact that the most recent data that are available for the two NMSCs that are most commonly diagnosed was collected in 2002, the total number of new instances of NMSC is unknown. In 2002, it was estimated that NMSC was responsible for more cases of cancer diagnosed than all other malignancies combined. It is anticipated that 560 people will pass away as a result of NMSC in 2016, with a mortality rate of 1.9 fatalities for every 100,000 persons.
Melanoma patients have a good chance of surviving the disease.
When compared with their counterparts in the general population of Australia, those who were diagnosed with melanoma had a chance of surviving at least five years at a rate of 90 per cent between the years 2007 and 2011. This is a significant improvement over the overall five-year survival rate for all types of cancer combined (67 per cent). The relative five-year survival rate dropped from 95 per cent for those aged 0–39 to 80 per cent for those aged 80 and older as age increased.
Melanoma is diagnosed in a lower percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than it is in the general population.
Comparatively, the age-standardized incidence rate for non-Indigenous Australians was 33 cases per 100,000 people in the years 2005–2009, whereas the rate for Indigenous Australians was 9.3 cases per 100,000 people.
Annually, a significant amount of money is spent on treating skin cancer.
In the year 2014, Medicare paid out payments for 40,179 cases of melanoma totalling $9.4 million and 959,243 cases of non-small cell lung cancer totalling $127.6 million. During the 2008–2009 fiscal year, the NMSC was responsible for 8.1% of Australia's total health system spending on cancer (excluding cancer screening).
Melanoma will be the cause of death for an estimated 1,770 Australians in the year 2016.
During the years 2007–2011, the relative five-year survival rate for melanoma patients was 90 per cent.
In Australia, there were 23,437 hospitalizations related to melanoma in the 2013–14 medical year.
The age-adjusted incidence rate of melanoma has gone up, while it has gone down for persons who are younger than 40.
The diagnosis as well as the treatment
Our programme places a strong emphasis on early detection because the earlier a skin cancer is found, the higher the patient's chance of successfully undergoing treatment for their condition. During our skin inspections, we use dermatoscopes, which are portable equipment that enables us to differentiate between malignant and noncancerous lesions with a higher level of precision than is possible with just our eyes. When it comes to closely monitoring suspicious lesions over time, we might also use digital dermoscopic photography (which involves taking pictures using a dermatoscopy).
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that is extremely dangerous and is defined by the uncontrolled proliferation of cells that create pigment. The pigment is the material in the skin that is responsible for producing colour. Melanomas can develop rapidly and with no prior warning at all. Although they are most common on the face and neck, upper back, and legs, they are not limited to those areas and can appear everywhere on the body.
Is melanoma a dangerous form of cancer?
Yes. In its later stages, malignant melanoma is capable of spreading to other organs, which may ultimately lead to death. Melanoma can be successfully treated with the right kind of medication if it is caught in its earlier stages.
What causes melanoma?
The most prevalent cause of melanoma is long-term exposure to the sun's UV rays for an extended period of time. There are also other potential causes, including as hereditary factors and deficits in the immune system. Sunburns and sun exposure throughout childhood have been linked to the development of malignant melanoma.
What does malignant melanoma look like?
Melanoma is characterised by its initial appearance, which is typically that of a mottled, light brown to black flat blotch with irregular boundaries. Usually measuring at least a quarter of an inch in diameter, blemishes have the potential to take on various hues of red, blue, and white, form a crust on the surface, and bleed. The upper back, torso, lower legs, head, and neck are common locations for their appearance.
A change in the appearance of an existing mole, the appearance of a new mole, or the growth of an existing mole are all reasons to seek medical attention.
Is it possible to treat melanoma?
In most cases, the condition can be cured through surgical removal if it is discovered at an early stage. It is critical to diagnose cancer at an early stage. Self-examination of the skin should be performed on a regular basis in order to detect any changes in its appearance, particularly any alterations in preexisting moles or blemishes, as recommended by dermatologists. Patients who have risk factors should have an annual comprehensive skin evaluation. Everyone who notices a change in the appearance of a mole should get checked out right away.
Is it possible to avoid getting melanoma?
Yes. Dermatologists advise their patients to take the following preventative measures since excessive exposure to UV radiation is believed to be one of the primary causes of malignant melanoma:
• Stay indoors during the "peak" sunshine hours, which are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as this is when the sun's rays are at their strongest.
• Make sure that the sunscreen you use has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
• Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside so that it can bond with your skin, and continue to reapply it every two hours, especially when engaging in activities such as playing, gardening, swimming, or any other activity that takes place outside.
Whenever you are going to be out in the sun for an extended amount of time, make sure to protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in addition to a hat with a broad brim.
Providers of Care for Skin Cancer
As the number of cases of skin cancer continues to climb, it is abundantly evident that the primary focus of our Skin cancer doctors team is on the prevention and early identification of skin malignancies.
We are well trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of complex skin illnesses and diseases such as cancer of the skin, genetic disorders, and other skin conditions and diseases. It is imperative that you make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible if you have observed any peculiar changes to your skin. A dermatologist is able to perform a full evaluation of the skin.
Moles, also known as nevi, can develop on any part of the skin. The vast majority of moles are completely harmless, but any change in their size, shape, colour, or texture could point to a potentially dangerous transformation.
Skin malignancies such as basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas can be found and treated by dermatologists thanks to their specialised training in doing comprehensive mole and skin examinations across the patient's entire body.
A dermatologist will advise you on how frequently you need to get your skin checked based on the type of skin you have and the results of any previous skin checks that have been performed. Please contact one of our dermatologists as soon as possible if you have any concerns regarding a skin lesion such as a mole, cyst, wart, or skin tag. An appointment with one of our dermatologists can be scheduled here. It is possible that the doctor will either remove the mole surgically or do a biopsy on it to evaluate whether or not it contains malignant cells.
Treatments Available for Skin Cancer
The removal of skin malignancies, benign moles, skin tags, and other benign lesions is a speciality of the dermatologists at Sydney Skin. These procedures are performed utilising a variety of traditional dermatologic and plastic surgical procedures. In our state-of-the-art and completely equipped procedure rooms, where we also provide just local anaesthesia, we perform various surgical procedures.
Our nurses are always ready to perform wound checks, change dressings, remove sutures, and educate patients on how to properly care for wounds.
Excision by Shaving The removal of skin growths such as lesions, tumours, and moles can be accomplished with a straightforward process known as shave excision. In most cases, it is carried out under the influence of local anaesthesia. The lesion is sent away to be examined in order to establish whether or not there is any growth of a cancerous nature present.
Skin Flap or Graft Surgery When skin cancer is either too large to be removed with a simple excision or is located in an area where a simple closure is not possible, a skin flap must be used to treat the patient. When bigger tumours are removed, they often leave behind a hole or defect in the skin that needs to be patched up. This can be accomplished by extending surrounding skin over the defect (known as a "flap") or by putting a patch of skin taken from another location (known as a "transplant") into the defect.
Surgical Excision is sometimes the only treatment necessary for certain types of skin cancer. Following the administration of a local anaesthetic, a mole or lesion is excised, and the tissue is subsequently transported to a laboratory for examination. After that, the wound is meticulously repaired with sutures, both those that dissolve and those that don't.
Cryosurgery The aberrant cancer cells are subjected to this method, which involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy them.
Curettage The scraping of the skin in a controlled manner is the treatment known as curettage. When the doctor needs to remove the top layers of skin, he or she will use something called a curette. In most cases, the deeper layers of the skin are allowed to remain unaltered. It is at this location that the skin may mend and regenerate itself. Curettage is only effective in treating a select few instances of skin cancer. Certain cancers of the skin develop solely on the surface layer of the skin, as do these cancers. Curettage is not an appropriate treatment for cancers that have spread to the deeper layers of the skin where they are developing.
Mohs' Surgery This method of treating skin cancer requires a high level of expertise from the surgeon. This procedure is typically reserved for the removal of malignancies that are particularly aggressive or those that are located in high-risk or delicate locations, such as those found on the nose, ears, eyelids, and lips. During this procedure, the surgeon will cut out a small section of the tumour mass and inspect it under a microscope as they continue to work on the patient. The technique of removing and evaluating the malignant growth continues until the tumour has been eliminated and the skin sample has been shown to be free of cancer cells. It is also the therapy of choice for big tumours that have returned after being treated in the past.
Treatments that do not involve surgery
Topical creams (Efudix, Picato, and Metvix) and photodynamic therapy are two examples of non-surgical techniques that can be used to treat the early stages of some skin malignancies.
When there are several keratoses on the face, scalp, arms, or legs, 5-Fluoro-Uracil cream, which is sold under the brand name Efudix, is applied. After cleansing the face, the cream is applied to the area once or twice a day for the next two to four weeks. The treated regions turn bright red, become raw, and are quite unpleasant. When the cream is stopped being applied, the healing process begins, and the end result is typically significantly smoother skin.
Topical Imiquimod + Picato gel This is a cream that stimulates the immune system, which in turn causes the body to attack any potentially malignant cells and eliminate them. In most cases, it should be administered once or twice each day for a total of three weeks. It causes inflammation of the lesions, which, once the treatment is finished, often resolves and no longer causes symptoms. One of the many benefits of this approach is that it can be used to treat large regions.
PDT stands for photodynamic therapy (PDT) One therapeutic option for extensive solar keratoses is photodynamic therapy (PDT). In this method, the damaged region is first treated with a photosensitizer, which is a chemical that contains porphyrin, and then it is subjected to a powerful source of visible light. The treated region will suffer from a burn, which will eventually go away once a few weeks have passed.
EXPERT DIAGNOSIS OF SUSPICIOUS MOLES
When dealing with melanoma, accuracy is essential because there is no room for error because the disease cannot be treated.
Our highly skilled dermatologists have diagnosed skin cancer in more than 80,000 patients, making them some of the most experienced in the world in this field. These Are Among Them:
ACTINIC KERATOSIS, ATYPICAL MOLES, BASAL CELL CARCINOMA, SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA, and MELANOMA are some of the most common types of skin cancer.
SKIN CANCER EDUCATION
Because information is power, we want to make sure that you are aware of what lesions to watch out for and how to best protect yourself and your loved ones. After having an appointment for Mole Mapping with us, many of our patients have discovered that acquaintances or family members have been affected by skin cancer.
HEAD-TO-TOE SKIN CHECK
Your skin will be subjected to a comprehensive examination by our trained Melanographers, cutting-edge technology, and experienced Doctors. During this examination, moles will be evaluated with the help of a dermatoscope, which is a tool used to view the intricate structure of a mole. Moles that are determined to be suitable for imaging will be captured by a specialised digital dermoscopic camera. This will result in a view of the internal structure of the mole (a dermoscopic image) as well as a view of the external structure of the mole (a clinical image), which can then be used for subsequent medical diagnosis and comparison.
TOTAL BODY PHOTOGRAPHY
It is just as vital to know where your moles are not as it is to know where they are, due to the fact that up to fifty per cent of melanomas appear in newly formed skin. You will have a standardised series of images taken at a high quality that will be used to produce a complete visual record of the surface of your skin. This record is used to identify new moles that appear and changes in moles that are already present.
KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE ON HOW YOUR MOLES AND SKIN CHANGE OVER TIME
By comparing photos taken at different times, we have been able to detect even the tiniest of changes in 52 per cent of the melanomas that we have found. Sequential Digital Dermoscopic Imaging (SDDI) and Clinical Imaging – at follow-up appointments, your moles are re-imaged to identify changes in the internal and external structure of your moles that have occurred since your last visit but are not visible to the naked eye. These changes have occurred since your last appointment but are not visible to the naked eye. We will identify changes in your skin through these methods.
If you have even the tiniest bit of unease about a spot or mole, you should get it examined as quickly as possible by a dermatologist who is trained in dermoscopy (a Dermatoscope is a handheld microscope for imaging skin lesions). In the vast majority of cases, it will turn out that the spot is harmless, but they worry that this can cause can be great, so please do not be reluctant to get it checked out. We are here to set your mind at ease, and we do not want you to be troubled by the anxiety that comes with not knowing something. It is better for us to identify one thousand benign lesions than it is to overlook a single malignant one.
The diagnosis of melanomas using dermoscopy, a technique that has been shown to considerably boost diagnostic accuracy, has been extensively studied and practised by our medical professionals.
In the event that melanoma is suspected, the lesion in question will be excised surgically and then sent off for pathological analysis. The thickness of the melanoma will be communicated to us by the pathologist if he determines that it is in fact melanoma. This will almost always lead to the requirement of additional surgical removal of the affected tissue. The second incision is being made for the sole aim of providing the correct margin. This refers to the border of healthy skin that surrounds the melanoma and needs to be excised during treatment. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Numerous clinical investigations have demonstrated that the size of the margin removed from the tumour is the most important factor in determining the chance of melanoma returning. The necessary margin is determined by the extent to which the melanoma has spread.
After melanoma has been successfully treated, the next most critical thing to do is to have a lifelong follow-up. Every individual who has ever been treated for melanoma is at an increased risk of developing the disease again. It is of the utmost importance to make a diagnosis of the second one as soon as humanly feasible so that it, too, can be treated and cured.
The following policy has been put into place since there has been a significant rise in the number of appointments that were not attended:
When cancelling or rescheduling an appointment, patients are obligated to provide the clinic with one full Business day's notice, which is equivalent to 24 hours.
There is a significant backlog of patients here waiting for appointments for diagnostic procedures, medical treatments, and surgical procedures. After that, we will be able to offer these appointments to patients who are currently on our waiting list.
For any unattended appointments that have been planned by the patient and have not been cancelled prior, we reserve the right to charge patients a Missed Appointment Consultation Fee.
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