What is Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia; about 4 out of 5 new cancers diagnosed are skin cancers. Most of us know someone who has had one or multiple skin cancers.

In Australia,  the vast majority of these skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun, while some are the result of genetic factors. Queensland still has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, including deadly melanoma.


In most cases, skin cancer occurs as a result of ultraviolet radiation causing abnormal growth of skin cells. Each time we are exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, the damage to our skin cells accumulates, in many cases, leading to a skin cancer.

Skin cancer can occur in anyone, even at a young age. Many people do not even realise that they have skin cancer. People at particularly high risk of skin cancer include people with:

  • fair skin, light coloured hair and blue eyes
  • a history of melanoma or other skin cancers in themselves or their family
  • a history of sunburns
  • skin that burns easily and doesn’t tan well
  • a history of using sunbeds or solariums
  • regular outdoor work or play
  • a large number of moles

The most common skin cancers seen in Australia are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These are commonly referred to as non-melanoma skin cancer. The next most common type of skin cancer, melanoma, is the most dangerous. Many skin cancers are curable if diagnosed and treated early.

At Central Dermatology Clinic, our dermatologists are experts in identifying and treating skin cancers of all types in their earliest stages. Treating skin cancers early provides a better outcome for patients, reduces your costs for treatment and minimises scarring. Your appointment with your dermatologist is an opportunity to learn more about what you can do to minimise your risk of skin cancer.

You can find further useful information on the SunSmart website.

If you notice any changes with any spots on your skin we recommend you get your skin checked as soon as possible by an expert.

Request an appointment at Central Dermatology Clinic.

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