Free skin cancer checks in Yanchep next month

The Lions Skin Screening bus will be at the Yanchep Community Men's Shed at 2 Bracknell St. Picture: Lions Cancer Institute

FREE skin cancer checks will be available at the Yanchep Community Men’s Shed next month with people advised to make an appointment.

The Lions Skin Screening bus will be at the Yanchep Community Men’s Shed (YCMS) on Saturday, March 6 from 9am to 3pm.

YCMS secretary Anne Purdy said members of the public can contact her on 0415 714 905 to book their appointment which was advisable it they wanted to ensure they were seen.

The skin screening program is one of the key objectives of the not-for-profit Lions Cancer Institute, which also funds research.

In Why does Australia have so much skin cancer? (Hint: it’s not because of an ozone hole) in The Conversation in March 2018 it was reported that skin cancer was primarily caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, causing DNA damage to skin cells.

“If the damage was not repaired by the body’s internal DNA repair machinery, then faulty cell replication can occur – triggering the abnormal growth of cells – which eventually become cancers,” the story said.

“People with pale skin types are more vulnerable to skin cancer and, broadly, the more sun they are exposed to – and the greater the intensity of the UV radiation – the higher their risk.

“Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer claiming more than 1700 lives in 2016.

“Squamous cells carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are far more common but far less life threatening.

“Despite being very amenable to treatment if identified at an early stage, squamous cells carcinomas still caused 560 deaths in 2016.’’

According to the Cancer Council WA men in WA have a one in three chance of being diagnosed with melanoma while women have a one in 33 chance.

The skin cancer statistics show in 2014 melanoma was the fifth leading cause of cancer death for men and that 67 per cent of Western Australians who died from skin cancer in that year were men.

The higher rates of melanoma deaths in men may be due to increased melanoma thickness at detection and late presentation for treatment.

The Lions Cancer Institute’s skin screening program provides free skin screening checks in rural and remote areas of WA where ready access to skin checks is not always available.

This free service is only made possible by the generosity of the institute’s screening team.

In providing this service a panel of volunteer dermatologists, plastic surgeons, GPs, dermoscopists, administrators and drivers have voluntarily given more than 2200hr of their time.