02 9130 1247 Enquire Online

Contact Us

Phone

02 9130 1247 

 

Fax

02 9130 4450 

 

Email

reception@gpbondi.com.au

 

Address

5/99 Brighton Boulevarde

North Bondi 2026 

 

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Skin Cancer Clinic

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin. The three main types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma – begin in particular cells of the epidermis, which is the top, outer layer of the skin.

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How common is skin cancer?

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. About two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.

Almost 770,000 new cases of BCC and SCC are treated each year. BCC can develop in young people, but it is more common in people over 40. SCC occurs mostly in people over 50.

More than 12,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year. It is among the five most commonly diagnosed cancers in all age groups.

 

Who gets skin cancer?

Anyone can develop skin cancer, but it’s more common the older you are. The risk is also higher in people who have:

  • fair or freckled skin, especially if it burns easily and doesn’t tan
  • red or fair hair and light-coloured eyes (blue or green)
  • experienced short, intense periods of exposure to UV radiation, e.g. on weekends or holidays or when playing sport, especially if it caused sunburn
  • actively tanned or used solariums
  • worked outdoors
  • a weakened immune system, which could be caused by taking certain medicines after an organ transplant (immunosuppressants) or being HIV-positive
  • lots of moles on their body
  • moles with an irregular shape and uneven colour (dysplastic naevi)
  • a previous or family history of skin cancer
  • certain skin conditions such as sunspots.
  • People with olive or very dark skin naturally have more protection against UV radiation because their skin produces more melanin than fair-skinned people. However, they can still develop skin cancer.

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What causes skin cancer?

The main cause of all types of skin cancer is overexposure to UV radiation. When unprotected skin is exposed to UV radiation, the structure and behaviour of the cells can change.

UV radiation is produced by the sun, but it can also come from artificial sources, such as the lights used in solariums (sun beds). While commercial sun beds are now banned in Australia, people who used a solarium before age 35 have an almost 60% greater risk of melanoma.

Most parts of Australia have high levels of UV radiation all year round. UV radiation cannot be seen or felt and it is not related to temperature, but it can cause:

  • sunburn
  • premature skin ageing
  • damage to skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.

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Please note the information on this page has been sourced from the Cancer Council.