Melanoma Awareness, Skin Cancer

The Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer: The Major Types to Be Aware Of

Team Avatar
Team Molemap Creator
Posted 26/04/18

Everyone knows that skin cancer is a common threat to people all over the world. But recent studies have revealed that it’s actually a lot more common in Australia than people may have previously thought.

According to the Cancer Council of Australia, roughly two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the time they reach seventy years old. Not only that, but an incredible 750,000 people are treated for one or more types of skin cancer every year.

But sadly, that’s not all. Toget an idea of just how serious this problem truly is, the following statistics:

  • The various types of skin cancer account for approximately 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers every year
  • General practitioners in Australia have a collective one million patient consultations for skin cancer–related issues every single year
  • Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the entire world. Diagnosis occurs at a rate of two to three times for other countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada

A large part of this has to do with the fairly unique lifestyles that Australians tend to lead. After all, the vast majority of all skin cancers are caused directly from exposure to the sun — something Aussies tend to get a lot of.

But at the same time, it’s also very important to practice your skin cancer detection skills. Getting a health professional to spot an early warning sign could be the difference that saves your life.

There are three specific types of skin cancer that Australians need to be aware of. These are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and the dreaded melanoma.


Basal Cell Carcinoma: What to Watch Out For

The bad news is that basal cell carcinoma is by far the most common type of skin cancer there is, particularly in Australia. The good news is that it’s also the slowest spreading. If you do happen to spot an early symptom or warning sign, get yourself checked out as quickly as possible.

Having said that, oftentimes basal cell carcinoma doesn’t actually have any symptoms — or at least, not explicitly obvious ones. This type of skin cancer may appear as a flat or a raised pink spot located on the surface of your skin. They tend to bleed easily and can cause discomfort particularly when you’re sweaty. However, because they’re so small, they’re very easy to ignore. Still, it is absolutely in your best interest to not leave anything to chance.

Note that these flat or raised spots can often be shiny, rough, or even crusty. Sometimes, they may even take the form of a discoloured patch of skin. If you happen to see something anywhere on your body that matches this description, get yourself checked out right away.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Another Silent Killer

Another very common type of skin cancer in Australia is squamous cell carcinoma. These are also important warning signs to be aware of, as squamous cell carcinoma (also commonly referred to as SCC) accounts for roughly 30% of all non-melanoma skin cancers in the country.

The symptoms and warning signs for this type tend to appear on parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun at very high rates (think: your arms and legs and even your face).

Exposed sites may develop a rough or scaly presentation initially. Later on, these spots can often become raised, firm, red, and crusty over time. They can sometimes take the appearance of a sore that just refuses to heal and can even develop into a rapidly growing lump. These areas may be tender to the touch, which should be a big warning sign that you should take seriously and have checked out.


The Melanomas: The Symptoms to Be Aware Of

Last but not least, we have the melanomas, which again affect very specific areas of your skin — though in slightly different ways from the types outlined above. Melanoma usually takes the form of brown or black moles on your skin. These moles often have dark irregular colours and borders.

If you’re already of a fairer skin type and are prone to developing moles regularly, you must get any new moles (or ones that have grown worse over time) checked out on a regular basis.

For the best results, make an appointment to see a doctor at least once a year. Track your moles using photos or a smartphone app to help keep an eye on their progress. Anything that changes colours or gets worse over time needs to be examined by a medical professional immediately.

It’s important to note that instead of moles, melanomas can often appear as pinkish raised lumps as well. If anything on your body matches that description, get yourself to a doctor.


MoleMap: Your Source for Accurate Skin Cancer Detection

Make no mistake about it: skin cancer does not discriminate. You are at risk if you:

  • have fair skin,
  • have lots of moles or freckles,
  • are in your forties and fifties, and
  • already have a family history of skin cancer.

This is part of why MoleMap was developed in the first place. It aims to give health-conscious people an easy and dependable way to check and track any suspicious moles on a regular basis.

Developed in association with both IBM and the Melanoma Institute of Australia, MoleMap uses sophisticated artificial intelligence and other algorithms to provide the fastest and most accurate detection of skin cancer located anywhere in the world today — technology that is available for you to use effective immediately.

If you’d like to find out additional information about the warning signs and symptoms of the various types of skin cancer that are common in Australia, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own health concerns in a little more detail, please don’t delay — contact MoleMap today.

We currently have special offers on our skin check and full body MoleMap. Find out more here and start taking control of your health today.