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 blasé 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.
Sarah Hayward | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy