Australia’s huge skin cancer bill

Glowing skinRecent research by a healthcare organisation in Australia has revealed that the cost and number of skin cancers is growing exponentially – and will cost the Australian government more than $700 million per annum by 2015.

The cancers include basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which are the most common types in Australia today. Between 1997 and 2010 the number of cases of these cancers soared by a whopping 86%, with the rise between 2010 and 2015 projected to be 22%.

The largest number of cases will be seen in the over 65 category. The cost of treating these cancers in 2001 stood at $264 million and increased to $500 million by 2010. This is expected to rise by almost $200 million by 2015.

These figures do not include the cost of loss of productivity through time off to treat these cancers, so the real cost to the Australian economy is even higher.

This comes despite increased awareness over the dangers of the sun and the weak ozone layer over this antipodean hotspot. However health officials imagine that what they are actually witnessing is the effects from previous years, before education and knowledge about the dangers of the sun were more prevalent.

Ian Olver, Clinical Professor of Oncology at Cancer Australia, says: “This could be the results of exposure from decades ago.”

What is important, both here and down under, is that if you see moles that look as if they may have changed in shape, size or appearance then get them checked out as soon as possible.

If you would like information on any aspect of skin care, including advice on mole removal or sun protection, contact the team at Aurora Skin Clinics on 01844 318825 or email