Skip to main content

Some common
myths when it comes
to skin cancer

When a skin cancer is cut out is it gone?

Skin cancers can be easily treatable if detected early, however, if undetected, the cancer may spread to other places of the body increasing a risk of developing more skin cancers. It is important that after a diagnosis that you have regular skin checks. ​

People with darker skin tones are not at risk of skin cancer

While people with darker skin tones are at lower risk of developing skin cancer, permanent skin cell damage from UV radiation can still occur, increasing skin cancer risk. People of all skin types are recommended to receive regular skin checks. ​

You don't have to be concerned about skin cancer, as it will be noticeable and easy to treat

This is the biggest skin cancer myth of all. Skin cancer can develop in places that are not easy to notice or monitor. Also, some skin cancers can appear similar to a pimple or even not be visible to the naked eye and can be difficult to treat when undetected. Having your skin examined and regularly monitored by a medical practitioner increases your chances of detecting skin cancers and removing them early.

Teenagers and young adults do not require skin checks as skin cancer only affects older people

Skin cancer does not discriminate with age – you can develop skin cancer at any age. In 2019, there were 2,602 adults aged between 25-49 years diagnosed with melanoma.​

Skin cancers only appear brown

Not all skin cancers appear brown or darker, some can even appear pink, red or blue.​

Melanomas are the only deadly skin cancers

Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) do not commonly spread to other areas of the body and are therefore easier to treat. In 2016, however, 560 Australians died from BCC and SCC combined as there is still a risk of these skin cancers growing quickly and spreading due to factors such as late detection.

Areas of the body that are exposed to the sun are the only areas where skin cancer can develop

Skin cancer can develop on any part of the body including the bottom of the feet, fingernails, inside the mouth, eyes, breasts and groin.

It's your doctor's job to diagnose skin cancer

But you will know better than anyone else if something on your skin is Sore, Changing, Abnormal or New. Remember – together with sun protection, early detection is your best defence against skin cancer.