Are You at a Higher Risk for Skin Cancer in Brisbane?
Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the country. Thanks to our glorious sunshine, cases of melanoma in Queensland account for almost 30% of all cases in Australia, as reported by Cancer Council Queensland. But there are plenty of other factors besides where you live that can make you susceptible to skin cancer. Here’s what to look out for.
Skin cancer thanks to occupation is something that isn’t recognised as much as it should be. If you work outside, even for a small portion of the day, your skin is at risk. Wearing plenty of sunscreen and protective clothing is imperative if you work in fields like construction or agriculture.
Also keep in mind that even when the weather is cool and the sky is cloudy, the UV index may still be high enough to give you a sunburn. So make sun protection a daily practice regardless of the weather.
Your Skin Tone
Does your skin tone determine your susceptibility to forming skin cancer? Absolutely. People with pale skin tones are much more sensitive to UV damage due to smaller amount of melanin in their skin. Melanin is the protective pigment that gives your skin and your eyes their colour. With low levels of it, your chances of developing melanoma increase greatly.
That being said, people with darker skin tones can still develop skin cancer. While chances are smaller of developing skin cancer from UV damage, it is still possible. Skin cancer can also develop due to genetic factors, which leaves everyone at risk, unfortunately.
Medications You Take
It’s a little known fact that some medications can increase the photosensitivity of your skin. Thus, the likelihood of developing skin cancer becomes much greater. Some blood pressure medications and acne medications have been known to do this, amongst many others.
Always check with your doctor whether the medications you take will make your skin more sensitive. If you decide to proceed with taking them, make sure you’re implementing additional measures to protect your skin from the sun, like always wearing a hat and booking more regular skin checks.
Generally speaking, the incidence rate of skin cancer will increase with age. The Cancer Council has revealed that 2 out of every 3 Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70. Cancer Council spokesperson Katie Clift recently said, “due to an ageing and increasing population, rates of skin cancer are expected to increase nationally for some time yet, with higher rates among older Australians and males. This demonstrates the importance of regular skin checks throughout adulthood, so that skin cancer can be diagnosed early and treated effectively.”
How to Protect Your Skin
The best way to protect your skin from skin cancer is to stay out of the sun. But given that such a tactic is unrealistic for the average Australian, daily protection in the form of hats, sunglasses, SPF50+ sunscreen, and clothing that offers ample coverage is very important.
Beyond implementing daily sun protection, it’s equally important to book yourself in for frequent skin checks in Brisbane. If done on a regular basis, any melanoma that does form can be treated before the cancer spreads to other parts of the body and becomes fatal.
Wellcare Medical Centre offers the following skin check services;
• Comprehensive head-to-toe skin examination
• Complete recording of all skin lesions in high risk patients
• Sequential Monitoring of moles over time
• Surgical excision of skin cancer
Book your skin check with our supportive, expert team now, to get the peace of mind you deserve.