Blokes Delaying Skin Cancer Check Ups
Less than one-in-three South Australian men consider themselves at high risk of skin cancer, despite 78% reporting at least one known risk factor, such as fair hair, skin that burns easily, or spending time outdoors.
Alarmingly, 61% of Australian men have also delayed a visit to the doctor, despite their concern about a health issue, with more than a quarter of full-time employees claiming to be too busy at work and unable to spare the time.
These and other findings are the result of a survey from the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD), who aim to reinforce the importance of early skin cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention for Australia’s most common cancer.
Clayton had more info on on the Arvo Flow today.
Dr Rachel Manifold is a dermatologist and Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, who has witnessed the devastating impact of skin cancer throughout her career.
“As experts in the diagnosis, surgical and non-surgical treatment and management of skin cancer, including melanoma, dermatologists unfortunately see a huge number of male patients with some form of skin cancer.
“Men are at higher risk of developing both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer than women, but are often more reluctant to visit a doctor to have their skin checked.
"Often it’s not until they know someone who has been diagnosed with skin cancer, that they too, suddenly realise they could be at risk of the disease.
“Removing the primary melanoma at the origin will resolve 90 per cent of cases of the disease, which makes early detection and diagnosis absolutely critical.
“It’s crucial that all Australians, particularly men, prioritise their skin health, by performing regular self-skin checks for changing or un-healing marks, and visit a doctor as soon as they notice anything suspicious,” Dr Manifold said.
Professor David Whiteman is Deputy Director of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, and recently developed an online tool designed to identify individuals at high risk of melanoma in just 90 seconds.
“The risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers increases with age...[and] starts to rise noticeably at 50 years of age," he said.
“What’s most concerning about the new ACD survey findings is that Australian men are failing to recognise they are at risk of skin cancer, despite our country’s high level of UV exposure.
“Melanomas are a deadly form of skin cancer and can quickly spread to other areas of the body.
"It’s crucial men do not delay a visit to their doctor if they notice changes in their skin, no matter how busy they might be."
To learn more about skin cancer and the important role played by a dermatologist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin cancer, visit www.dermcoll.edu.au.