What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is a disease of the body’s skin cells usually as a result of skin cell damage. Skin cancer can grow when the cells which make up our skin are damaged, causing them to grow abnormally.

Each time your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, changes take place in the structure and function of our skin cells. Over time, the skin can become permanently damaged, which will worsen with each exposure.

Every additional decade of overexposure to UV further increases your risk of skin cancer. Increased use of sun protection against sun exposure will help prevent skin cancer and melanoma at any age.

All skin types can be damaged by exposure to UV radiation. People with skin types which are less likely to burn are still at risk, albeit lower, of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancers account for about

of all new cancers dianosed in Australia every year

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer which may appear suddenly or slowly develop from an existing mole. They vary in size, colour or shape and may standout or blend in with other spots on the skin.

Basal
Cell Carcinoma (BCC), are the most common type of non-Melanoma skin
cancer and frequently appear as flat or raised pink shiny spots
mostly on the head and neck, chest or back.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas commonly occur on areas of skin that have had a long history of sun exposure, such as the face, scalp and hands. They usually begin as scaly, red spots, which may later develop into tender, thick, dry lumps in more advanced cases