Skin cancer epidemic will swamp healthcare in Australia

October 16th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 16 (IANS) Increasing incidence of skin cancer may swamp healthcare facilities every year, causing unsustainable medical costs, says a new report. The report, jointly released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and Cancer Australia, revealed exactly how common Australia’s most diagnosed cancer, non melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), is.

“In 2008, around 434,000 people will be diagnosed with one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia, and data from 2006 show that there were over 400 deaths in that year from NMSC,” said David Roder, of Cancer Council Australia, commenting on the report.

“But unlike other cancers, NMSC is not reportable by law to cancer registries. As a result, incidence and prevalence statistics are not routinely available,” he said, according to a release of Cancer Council.

The report, Non-melanoma skin cancer: General practice consultations, hospitalisation and mortality, is intended to fill some of the gaps in data availability by analysing the impact these cancers have on doctors’ workloads, hospital inpatient admissions and mortality.

“It found that there were an estimated 950,000 GP visits per year (between April 2005 and March 2007) for NMSC,” said Melissa Goodwin of AIHW’s Cancer Monitoring Unit.

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