People who have had the non melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) basal and squamous cell carcinoma (BCC and SCC) are approximately twice as likely as other people to develop non-skin cancers, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. NMSCs are generally not life threatening, which is a good thing given that the two thirds of Australian are expected to get one in their lifetime. In the US and the UK, it is lower but still an alarming 20% of the population.

What is concerning though is that there is increasing evidence that those with NMSC are twice as likely to develop another type of cancer than the general population.

With such a useful indicator, you’d assume NMSCs are effectively tracked worldwide right? Unfortunately, no. New Zealand, close to Australia’s level of risk is one country failing to do so.

We feel passionately here at Skin Analytics that more effort needs to be put into data collection so that we can get better at finding those with life threatening cancers.

We want melanoma survival rates to be almost 100% and to do that we need to find people with them early. That means that anyone who has a higher risk of melanoma should track their moles for change.

And higher risk includes those who’ve had a NMSC. So we applaud that New Zealand dermatologists are demanding that this information is collected.