Researchers in Queensland have developed an online tool capable of predicting a person’s skin cancer risks. They’re hoping the clever new survey will save lives.
The team at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute developed this online survey using results from over 43,000 people aged between forty and seventy.
The survey assesses 10 different elements, including your age, skin tone and smoking status to calculate your skin cancer risks.
It also takes into account your health history by examining previous sunburns, childhood sun exposure, and even the instance of freckles.
According to Professor David Whiteman, this survey can predict whether skin cancers or melanoma will develop in 80% of cases.
The survey can estimate your risk of developing skin cancer over a 3 year period, but should not be used as a substitute for regular doctor’s checks.
“There would be many people out there who would under-estimate their risk of skin cancer”, Professor Whiteman told the ABC.
“This is for people who don’t yet have a skin cancer and it’s to try and find those people early and get them into the medical system”.
Professor Whiteman reminded all Australians to be vigilant about their skin. He believes everyone should be practice sun safety, and receive regular skin checks.
“By living in Australia you have a high risk compared to other people around the world, so no-one around Australia should be ignoring sun protection”, he said.
The online survey is available for free here: Personal risk score for developing a keratinocyte cancer in the next 3 years