The improvement in survival rates is a reflection of progress on diagnosing and treating most types of serious skin cancers.
By serious skin cancer we tend to mean melanoma, although a few other variants require equal care. Less life threatening skin cancers also need treatment and in general, similar progress has been made.
Digital imagery has improved screening and diagnosis, whilst consultants skills remain the key, computer analysis can also help. Surgical facilities and instruments have advanced, new treatments have been developed.
A changing world has brought improved communication. Information from research, or clinical trials is shared, treatment models and guidance are clarified. Part of greater awareness, which is essential to skin cancer care.
Whilst age parity is rarely 100% for the outcome of any medical condition, better results across age ranges are another welcome change:
The comparative survival rate in higher age groups is greater than for, bowel, bladder, lung, or many other cancers. Whilst symptoms should be a concern, there is no need to feel treatment won’t work because of age.
Much has been achieved in developing skin cancer treatment. Work on genetics, targeted therapy and immunotherapy is helping at all stages, although increased awareness and accurate, early diagnosis remain the drivers of progress.
To maintain this, we must further improve awareness and action. If you find symptoms on your body, or see them on a partner, family member, or friend, please seek a specialist opinion as soon as possible.
Skin cancer is now a beatable, treatable condition, with close to 100% cure rates at an early stage. If we all work and act together, serious outcomes will become a rarity.