Skin Cancer

Benign Spots


Harmless coloured spots up to 1 cm, usually regular shape and colour, can be raised or have multiple colours (brown & black). The more moles you have the higher your risk of skin cancer. These should be monitored for signs of change, either size, shape or colour.

Seborrhoeic Keratoses

Variable coloured lesion (brown, orange or black) that usually looks like it stuck on top of the skin, by the age of 60 years most people will have at least one or two. Can become irritated and change is size and shape but will have a discrete edge. These lesions do not have the potential to become cancerous, but can be removed if unsightly or irritated.


Warning Signs

Actinic Keratoses/Sun spots

Most common above the age of 40 years, and presents in sun damages skin, predominately the hands and face. Small red, scaly lesions that may be painful when scratched. These are a warning sign that you may be prone to skin cancer.


Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Most common, yet least dangerous skin cancer. Presents as a pale, pearly or red in coloured lump or dry, scaly patch of skin. This may ulcerate or bleed and not fully heal. Usually grows very slowly on sun exposed skin.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

More likely to occurs in people or the age of 50 years on sun exposed skin. This lesion develops over some months. Usually as a thick, red scaly patch that bleeds easily, forms a crust or ulcerates.



Superficial Spreading

Most common form of melanoma, making up 70-75% of all melanoma diagnoses. Can develop from an old spot or present as a new spot. Can appear on skin not usually exposed to the sun. Usually presents with a spot that has an irregular shape and colour, and growing in size.


Different from common melanomas, making up 10-15% of all melanomas diagnoses. Grows rapidly with a firm, raised nodule that has an even colour (red, pink, brown or black). After awhile may bleed, crust or ulcerate. This lesion has a very high risk for spread to other parts of the body and should be reviewed urgently.


Reference: SunSmart – Spot the difference flyer (Click Here)