Non-melanoma skin cancer refers to all types of skin cancer that don’t include melanoma.
The most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (or BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (or SCC).
BCC accounts for c70% of non-melanoma skin cancers. BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. They arise from basal cells that are located in the upper level of the skin (epidermis).
BCCs can occur anywhere on the body but are most commonly found (c80% of the time) in areas that are most exposed to sunlight which is likely to include your head, face, neck, arms and legs.
BCCs can take on numerous forms which make them hard to identify but they may appear as a pinkish patch which is flat, or a pinkish lump which can look pearly or shiny, a sore that does not heal, a spot that bleeds or a scar like area.
SCCs account for c30% of non-melanoma skin cancers. SCCs arise from uncontrolled growth of squamous cells in the upper level of the skin. SCCs usually appear in areas of the body that have been most exposed to the sun.
SCCs also take on lots of different looks, so they are not easily identifiable either. The most common appearance for a SCC is a scaly raised lump. They can also appear as wart-like growths with persistent scaly red patches or open sores that fail to heal quickly.
Most non-melanoma skin cancers will be removed by a doctor or dermatologist under a local anaesthetic and that is the end of it. However, if a non-melanoma skin cancer has advanced it can spread, in some cases to the lymph nodes which may require more serious forms of cancer treatment.
It is true that the survival rate for non-melanoma skin cancer is much higher than it is for melanoma, but one shouldn’t be too complacent about non-melanoma skin cancer. Sadly, around 600 Australian’s die each year from non-melanoma skin cancer.
Over 95% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the sun.
Dermatologists agree that wearing sun protective clothing and a broad brim sun hat is the best way to prevent skin cancer which results from the cumulative effects of sun exposure.
Australia is the global leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin cancer.
Solbari is the leading Australian sun protective clothing, brand with customers in over 60 countries. Solbari Sun Protection offers an award-winning range of UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, broad brim sun hats, arm sleeves and umbrellas for women and men.
You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below:
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The Solbari Team
This blog is for information purposes only, always consult your medical professional.
Your skin is your largest organ and has a long memory. Sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) damage is cumulative throughout your life. Research shows that sun damage contributes to more than 90% of wrinkles, brown spots, premature skin ageing as well as precancerous and cancerous skin lesions.
Limiting sun exposure is very important. As the UV rays cause the most damage to the skin.
It often takes many years and sometimes decades for the effects to become visible.
But the good news is that taking care of your skin form now onwards may be able to help you to reduce the probability of skin cancers and minimise skin ageing.
Dermatologists recommend UPF50+ sun protective clothing and a broad brim sun hat as the first line of defence against premature skin ageing, sunburn, skin cancer and melanoma. Sunscreen with a SPF rating above 30 should be applied to skin that is directly exposed to the sun.