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!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy