Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Australians At Risk Of Sun-related Skin Cancer Death

Date:
April 15, 2008
Source:
Research Australia
Summary:
A new Western Australian study has revealed the mortality from nonmelanoma skin cancer, commonly considered less dangerous than melanoma, is affecting older Australians at a worrying rate.

A new Western Australian study has revealed the mortality from non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), commonly considered less dangerous than melanoma, is affecting older Australians at a worrying rate.

Researchers at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) found West Australians above the age of 69, especially men, accounted for 70 percent of deaths from non-melanoma skin cancer in WA, and most primary cancers occured in areas of high sun exposure.

The study has prompted health experts to urge older people to stay vigilant about sun protection and get regular skin checks.

The Cancer Council WA Director of Education and Research and co-author of the paper, Terry Slevin, said the study's results should act as a strong reminder for older West Australians to check their skin and see their doctor at the first sign of anything suspicious.

"Older people may have become blas about NMSC because for the most part they can just be cut out, but as this research shows, NMSC is serious and can be deadly if left untreated," he said.

"It's important people understand that NMSCs are preventable from middle age -- it's wrong to think all the damage to our skin is done in childhood and nothing can be done after that to avoid skin cancer."

The research published in the most recent edition of Cancer Causes Control, found 70 percent of deaths from NMSC occurred among people aged 70 years and over. More than 70 per cent of those were men, and in most cases the primary cancer developed on the face, ears, hands or scalp.

"These results should be a stark reminder for older people, especially blokes, that they should be more vigilant in having their skin checked and do something if they notice any changes in their skin," Mr Slevin said.

"The message these findings send us is that it's never too late to prevent skin cancer and regular skin checks are important to catch skin cancers early, before they become a problem."

Each year in Western Australia, it's estimated that around 30,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are removed and there are 37 deaths from these types of cancers.

Author of the paper, WAIMR Associate Professor Lin Fritschi, said the research was the first definitive evidence that deaths from NMSC in Australia was primarily caused by cancer resulting from excessive sun exposure.

"The average age of death caused by NMSC was about 77 years old, and most primary cancers appeared in areas of high sun exposure -- for men, the scalp was the primary cancer site in a quarter of these deadly cancer cases," she said.

"These cancers can mostly be prevented by applying the 'slip, slop, slap' rule and early detection.

"There could be a number of reasons why older people are not picking up these cancers early enough such as poor eyesight and less mobility to check their own skin, illness or dementia.

"In light of these findings, skin cancer examinations really need to become a high priority for older people as well as their GPs, nurses and carers."

The research found no deaths recorded from basal cell carcinoma (BCC), one of the most common NMSCs, or solar keratosis. Most deaths were associated with squamous cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Research Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Research Australia. "Older Australians At Risk Of Sun-related Skin Cancer Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414082546.htm>.
Research Australia. (2008, April 15). Older Australians At Risk Of Sun-related Skin Cancer Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414082546.htm
Research Australia. "Older Australians At Risk Of Sun-related Skin Cancer Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414082546.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins