For fishermen spending long days in the sun, excessive sun exposure is an occupational hazard.
This was certainly the case for elite angler, Mark Davis, who was diagnosed with skin cancer on his lower lip (Click here to read more about Mark’s skin cancer scare.)
“The spot was recurring on my lip, had it checked twice and it turned out not to be cancer. The third time the spot came back and my lip turned black, they biopsied that and it turned out to be cancerous.”, said Davis in an interview with BASSMASTER.
Skin Cancer Statistics
- Despite being almost entirely preventable, skin cancer continues to affect at least one in every two Australians in their lifetime.
- Skin cancer statistics show that 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer prior to age 70.
- Lip cancer, like Mark’s, is the most common malignant lesion of the oral cavity. In Australia the incidence of lip cancer reaches as high as 13.5 per 100,000 (Read more here).
- 90% of lip cancers occur on the lower lip, since it has a higher level of sun exposure compared to the upper lip which is shielded by the nose and is angled slightly downwards.
- Thirty percent of patients with lip cancer have outdoor occupations.
- Males are also up to 13 times more likely than females to get lip cancer.
Sun exposure is a well established risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Less than 5% of all melanomas can be explained by an inherited gene.
Those who are at greater risk for skin cancer also include people:
- with fair skin, fair or red hair and blue eyes with a large number of moles on their skin
- who have spent a lot of time outdoors
- who have spent a lot of time actively tanning or have used solariums
- who have had a previous diagnosis of skin cancer or a family history of skin cancer
- with a history of severe or blistering sunburns.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
As a warning to others, Mark Davis said, “I want people out there, especially the guys to don’t be dumb, protect yourself, every part that is exposed including your lips.”
To help reduce the risks of developing skin cancer, follow these simple rules.
- Limit exposure.
- Seek shade
- Wear SunSmart clothing
- Wear a broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket-style hat
- Wear sunglasses
- Apply SPF 30+, broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
For more information about Skin Cancer and how to prevent it, check out our post, Cancer Queensland’s Guide To Avoiding Skin Cancer.