South-West Queensland Said To Be Hotspot For Skin Cancer

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Skin cancer
Qin Zhengu shows tumours on his fingers caused due to skin cancer June 23, 2014 Reuters

The highest number of melanoma cases, often called Queensland disease as the state has the highest rates in the world, was seen in south-west and southern inland regions of Queensland, revealed a research by Cancer Council Queensland. The council said that the state's melanoma hotspot was west to Charleville, an area from Toowoomba and Dalby.

Seventy six cases of skin cancer was diagnosed for every 100,000 people in the region every year, showed statistics and Katie Clift, the executive manager of Cancer Council Queensland said it was unclear as to why the region fared the worst. About 3,000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers were diagnosed each year in the state.

She explained, "We would tend to think that more coastal areas or areas that have more of an outdoor lifestyle where they're close to beaches and rivers and parks may have higher rates of melanoma. What we have at the moment is about 250 Queenslanders who live in rural and remote areas who die from cancer each year who would survive if they lived in urban areas.

She stresses on the fact that it is important for people who live in Queensland to be sun smart and that one should have access to health practitioners to get skin checked regularly. She wants to spread a message to all the Queenslanders to know their own skin. 

Kylee Sanson, who was diagnosed with melanoma when she was 21 and was pregnant with her first child, shares her experience. She said that it was an incredible shock as she was so young.

Kylee, 35 years old, said, "It was detected when I visited her GP on an unrelated issue. At the time we thought it was an older person's infliction but no - not the case." She blames it on sun exposure but also suspects a genetic link as her grandfather recently died from melanoma.

Her grandfather recently died from melanoma, and while she has suspected a genetic link to her cancer, she firmly blames sun exposure. Her message for everyone is to get yourself checked, make it a regular annual appointment, and just the basics - slip, slop, slap, seek, slide.

Every year, in Far North Queensland, North Queensland, Central Queensland, Mackay, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast and South West Queensland, around 153, 160, 120, 79, 165, 386, 1176, 460 and 275 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year respectively.

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