Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. An outdoors lifestyle, a high population of fair complexions and a UV index that exceeds most countries creates a perfect storm for the development of skin cancer. It may seem puzzling then that there is not a general population screening for early detection of skin cancer in Australia.
Australian Skin Cancer Facts1
- Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70.
- More than 750,000 people are treated for skin cancer in Australia each year.
- 2067 Australians died from skin cancer in 2014.
With numbers like these a national skin cancer screening program seems a likely solution.
Why Isn’t There a National Skin Cancer Screening Program?
Despite the statistics, Cancer Council Australia currently advises against a national program citing three main reasons:2
- Non-melanoma skin cancer has relatively low mortality rates;
- The frequency of melanoma does not justify a national screening program economically; and
- The ability to assess skin cancer via a national program (using GPs) is not sufficiently accurate enough.
Until a national screening program is deemed viable, the responsibility to have a regular skin health check remains with the individual.
Where Can Australians Get a Skin Health Check?
Skin Cancer Clinics have been established in Australia to fill the gap between a GP’s ability to detect skin cancer and access to Dermatologists. A Skin Cancer Clinic’s sole purpose is to monitor, detect, diagnose and treat skin cancer in Australia.
OZ Skin Cancer Clinic offers bulk-billed skin health checks to enable everyone, regardless of age or skin type, to have a regular skin check.