Australia leads the world in the rate of sun damaged skin and skin cancers
The high level of skin damage in Australia is largely brought about by our love of the outdoor life in combination with the hole in the protective ozone layer that allows more of the damaging UV rays to reach us.
The two most common skin cancers, called the BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma) and the SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma), as well as the pre-cancerous sunspots (Actinic Keratoses, or AK’s) can now be treated more simply and effectively and with better cosmetic outcomes than the alternative destructive methods of cutting, burning, and freezing. There are three notable treatments that can clear skin cancers with excellent cosmetic results:
Recent immunological advances allow us to treat BCC’s with a course of injections given directly into the BCC. This recruits the body’s own immune system to kill off the cancer cells while leaving your normal cells intact. The treatment has a high success rate and since it attacks the cancer cells specifically, the treatment is non-scarring and results in an excellent cosmetic outcome. The injections are given over three weeks and are administered using a very small, fine needle so the treatment is able to be more comfortable.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
PDT involves the application of a special solution to the area or lesions to be treated. This is followed a few hours later by the gentle application of a special laser light. The solution, which is absorbed by the cancer cells, is activated by the laser light resulting in the selective destruction of the cancer and pre-cancer cells while leaving the normal cells intact. This results in these lesions clearing without leaving any marks or scars. BCC, SCC, and AK’s can be treated this way with a high success rate. Generally 3-4 treatments one month apart is required.
The development of newer anti-cancer creams for the treatment of skin cancers and pre-cancers (‘sunspots’) that target and destroy the cancer cells will not damage normal tissue, resulting in excellent cosmetic results. BCC, SCC, and AK’s can be treated this way. The treatment involves the application of the creams for several weeks until cleared.
Stay proactive about your skin
According to the Australian Cancer Council every year, in Australia skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers and of these diagnoses between 95 and 99% is caused by exposure to the sun. By actively having your skin checked and treated for skin cancer you could catch the cancer before it spreads and develops into more serious stages. We encourage those people who have noticed new ‘sun spots’ or moles appearing on their skin to seek an aesthetically pleasing solution to remove these unwanted spots.
Skin Cancer Clinic Sydney
For more information on skin cancer treatment and detection please contact our Randwick Surgery on 02 9399 6444 or our Narellan Surgery on 02 4627 2000 or contact us online.
Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. Surgery and all health regulated services may carry some risks which you can discuss with our doctor.