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The information provided in this feature is to be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a medical professional before making a decision. No responsibility will be taken for the outcomes of your individual actions.

Skin Cancer Clinicc In CALOUNDRA

1 Third Avenue, Caloundra

5437 0807

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Give yourself a slap on the back

“With the biggest melanoma killer being the 20-39 age group, we’re looking to be that new voice that brings energy to the solution.” Victor just 14 months before her death. Mr McGowan started to think about ways he could help people reduce their risk of exposure. “That’s when I started to look at existing products and what problems people were having. As a surfer myself and someone that’s outdoors a lot, I noticed that when people had their back exposed, there was that whole area they couldn’t reach,” Mr McGowan said. “I saw people with wooden spoons, with a chamois or T-shirt wrapped around it, trying to apply sunscreen so they could do an activity outside or on the water.”

Is the message around skin cancer prevention getting through? With melanoma killing more young Australians than any other cancer, you would hope so. But unfortunately, only time will tell. Bakslap founder Raphael (Raph) McGowan, 35, who lost his older sister Tess McGowan-Chan to melanoma six years ago, is not prepared to sit around and wait to find out. “Cancer affects all of us,” Mr McGowan said.

“Tess was 31 with a gorgeous newborn baby, Mabel, and a big loving family. Melanoma took her life far too soon and I don’t want anyone else to go through the pain she did.” A few days after Tess passed away, Mr McGowan contacted the Melanoma Institute Australia to find out more about what was being done about the disease, which mostly affects the area on people’s backs.

He also noticed his own dad using a plastic shopping bag to apply sunscreen before he played golf so it didn’t affect his grip. And as a surfer, Mr McGowan knew that people didn’t want sunscreen on their hands before going for a surf. When he started to ask around, it was a big problem and it was global. Mr McGowan’s idea was “Bakslap,” an applicator for getting to those hard-to-reach places or for applying sunscreen without having to get your hands greasy.

The same place Tess’s had been discovered by her husband

After working through seven different prototypes, the final

7 Nicklin Way, Minyama QLD 4575 07 5478 4499



Call 13SKIN to book an appointment today








sport or enjoying activities all the time. We just want to find a way that delivers new messaging,” he said. “That’s why Gen Zs are in the Bakslap team, running the marketing and getting their input on what message gets through to their generation. Then we can incorporate that.” Mr McGowan is a big believer in surrounding himself with experts in their field, building a great team around him who are not just trying to get the product to market and build the brand, but are personally invested in it.

product is currently in production and a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise the money to get the product to market. For Mr McGowan though, Bakslap is more than just a product. It’s a brand which will keep looking at innovative product solutions, as well as awareness and prevention initiatives, particularly for young people. Based out of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, Mr McGowan has surrounded himself with a team of people who are also invested in the brand, including University of the Sunshine Coast students who help in all aspects of the business. “We’re a young team. With the biggest melanoma killer being the 20-39 age group, we’re looking to be that new voice that brings energy to the solution,” he said. Raph said the group is in touch with what people are doing outside, how they’re using sunscreen, how they’re protecting themselves, and they’ve got a lot of ideas going forward to help the message cut through. “It’s not ‘don’t go outside, or make sure you’re always in the shade’ because the reality is (as a young person) you’re doing

Throughout the Bakslap process, Mr McGowan has ensured the business has retained a personal touch and has incorporated people he’s known previously, or who have known Tess. The logo was designed by a family friend, for example, with the branding colours reflecting the energy and positivity of Mr McGowan and Tess’s mum. The family, which includes seven children, is so tight-knit that, after Tess’s diagnosis, the whole clan moved to Sydney to be with her and support her though the process. “Everybody just stopped what they were doing and moved down there. We wanted to make sure we were with Tess throughout any treatment and then when she went into the hospice there was always one or two of us there 24/7,” Mr McGowan said. “Tess was pregnant when she was diagnosed and wanted to avoid any treatment that may have impacted Mabel, but at the same time the pregnancy accelerated the cancer. “It was a decision she wouldn’t have thought twice about.” “Now our family’s a lot closer because of what we all went though. We know what can happen at any time. We take interest in each other’s lives where previously we took it for granted. “We’re all in completely different professions and locations, but we’re all super supportive of each other.” With Tess a recording artist in her own right, an aim has always been to incorporate music into the Bakslap story. Local

Raphael McGowan / Photo: Patrick Woods

musician Andrea Kirwin has written a song specifically for the Kickstarter campaign. “Andrea Kirwin and I co-wrote a song about the journey and it was amazing how easily she was able to put the words together. We went to a recording studio and, including a number of children and friends, we all came together at the end to sing. I was smiling the whole time – Tess always told me I shouldn’t sing,” Mr McGowan joked. In addition to the single, $1 from every product sold goes to the Melanoma Institute for further research. “It’s all about your mate. Our tagline is, ‘I’ve got your back’. It’s just so relevant because that’s what we want to do for friends or family and support them in any way.” Õ For more information visit www.bakslap.com.au





A call to arms

Launched in National Skin Cancer Action Week, this new product provides a fun way to help keep kids safe from harmful UV rays. Crazy Arms are UPF 50+ sleeves that can be worn with t-shirts, school uniform or sportswear to protect exposed arms during outdoor play.

Designed and made in Australia, Crazy Arms was created by three dads Martin Rippon, Stephen Busuttil and Jason Rance who experienced the daily battle of getting their kids to wear sunscreen, the mess, and then further battles interrupting some ‘important business’ to reapply every couple of hours. “Our goal was to create a product that kids wanted to wear. We developed a range of Crazy Arms designs for kids aged five to 11. Everything from dinosaurs to graphic skulls, appealing to different age groups and interests,” Mr Busuttil said.

which means a significant reduction in the amount of sunscreen used,“ Mr Rippon said. “However, it’s the reaction of the kids that’s most important. They love the designs and the feel of the product. It’s like dressup with a purpose.”

Crazy Arms are available in plain colours and pattern designs, available in two sizes to fit children five to 11 years old and start from $27.50 per pair. Õ

Months of research led to a light-weight, two-way stretch, chlorine resistant, breathable fabric that was tested to be UPF 50+

For more information, visit crazyarms.com or email hello@crazyarms.com

Months of research led to a light-weight, two-way stretch, chlorine resistant, breathable fabric that was tested to be UPF 50+. “We were keen to take a responsible approach, and the econyl fabric we use is made from recycled nylon, like the ghost fishing nets that litter the ocean,” Mr Rance said. “And we donate $2.50 for every Dolphin design we sell to healthyseas.org to help keep up their good work.” The printing and manufacturing of Crazy Arms is all being done here in Australia and initial sales can be bought on its website. The team have also been out at the local markets, selling the product and getting feedback from customers. “Parents relate to the benefits of the products as an alternative to sunscreen. Arms are about 30 per cent of the exposed area,

Excellent Quality Shade Products Made to Match Your Taste & Budget At Cool Outdoor Living we specialise in sun protection solutions, whether that be shade sails, outdoor blinds or fixed umbrellas. We use and recommend the best possible materials so that your peace of mind will last for years and years in the harsh Queensland sun.

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Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 701



Australians die from skin cancer each year1



The number of treatments Medicare records show for squamous and basal cell carcinoma skin cancers in 2016 – that’s more than 2,500 skin cancer treatments every day 1

The number of Queenslanders that have had a skin check in the past 12 months2




The number of other skin cancer types per year that are caused by occupational exposures in Australia2


The number of Queenslanders that are diagnosed with potentially fatal melanoma each year, and it is estimated that over 350,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated3

The number of melanomas per year that are caused by occupational exposures in Australia2


Sunscreen works in two different ways to protect skin from harmful UV rays. Zincs and other heavy lotions create a physical barrier which blocks and reflects UV rays (like how a white wall reflects light). These sunscreens are visible and don’t really absorb into the skin. The other type of sunscreens protect skin through the use of a chemical reaction. These sunscreens are usually invisible ones rubbed into the skin. These lotions absorb the UV rays into the chemicals and remove them away from the skin.





Sources: 1. The Cancer Council www.sunsmart.com.au/skin-cancer/skin-cancer-facts-stats 2. Tal Australia life insurance 3. Cancer Council Queensland

is the skin cancer capital of the world3








Q&A What is your personal approach to sun safety?

A broad brimmed hat, collared shirt, at least 30+ SPF sunscreen (including on top of my head!) and a rashie. How should you check your skin spots? Everyone should see an experienced General Practitioner at least once a year for a full body skin cancer check. The welltrained eye of your doctor is the most important tool in a skin cancer examination, which can be supplemented by digital skin dermatoscopy and mole-scanning technology. What are the main indicators something could be wrong? Always be alerted by a new skin spot, especially one that is darkly pigmented, new, changing or enlarging rapidly, irregular in shape, itchy or bleeds easily. Also be on the lookout for red/pink scaly patches or nodules that are enlarging, changing, new or tender. When in doubt, seek medical advice immediately. How often should you get your skin checked by a doctor? For most people, once a year is adequate with the proviso that you present at any other time if a skin lesion concerns you. For those who have a history of previous skin cancer, skin checks should be every six months or even more frequently if


With Dr Roger Morris Primary Care Physician & Practice Principal Medicine on Second, Maroochydore

recommended by your doctor. I recommend starting regular skin checks from about age 13 and these should continue indefinitely throughout your lifetime. Does this change dependant on a person’s skin type? Yes. Everyone with skin is potentially at risk of skin cancer. However, those with pale skin, lots of moles and those with ginger/red hair are at particular risk of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Those with a strong family history of melanoma in more than one close family member are also at increased risk. Those people who spend a lot of time in the sun should also be vigilant about the risk of skin cancer.

Can a skin cancer develop? i.e Basal Cell Carcinoma develop into a melanoma? Not usually. Melanomas can develop out of previously benign moles (naevi) and some types of freckles, or can arise spontaneously where there was no previous mole. Squamous cell cancers (SCCs) can arise out of sun-related skin blemishes like sunspots or spontaneously. Basal Cell Cancers (BCCs) tend to arise spontaneously out of sun-exposed skin. But one type of skin cancer does not usually change into another unrelated type of skin cancer. Of course, some people develop several different types of skin cancer at one time, particularly if they have a long history of sun exposure. How fast can skin cancers develop?

Is it true some medications can make a person’s skin more susceptible to sun damage? If so what are they? People who take medications to suppress their immune system (for instance for autoimmune disease and organ transplants) have an increased risk of skin cancer and should have skin cancer checks at least every six months. Recent studies have suggested a link between the blood pressure medication Hydrochlorothiazide and non-melanoma skin cancer. Every medical student learns about the link between a very old asthma treatment called ‘Bell’s Asthma Mixture’ and basal cell cancer (BCC) of the skin. This may still be relevant in older patients.

This depends on the type of skin cancer. BCCs tend to develop slowly over time. SCCs and melanomas can develop much faster and melanomas particularly can spread very quickly to nearby structures and distant parts of the body, even when the primary lesion is quite small. Early detection and treatment is vital to prevent these dangerous complications. Can you briefly explain the three different types of skin cancers? Skin cancers are divided roughly into melanoma-type cancers ¿

Your Skin Health is in Good Hands

Medicine on Second offers a wide range of medical services for all ages and health conditions. Specific services to help you maintain your skin health include: • Skin cancer checks using Siascope Technology • Regular skin cancer clinics • Skin Cancer Surgery

If you would like to find out when the above medical services are available, please call our office on 5443 9455 50 Second Ave, Maroochydore 4558

Dr Carina Joubert

Dr Michael Ryan


Dr Roger Morris




and Non-melanoma type cancers. Melanoma is a potentially aggressive form of skin cancer that involves the pigmentproducing cells in the skin called melanocytes. Melanoma can arise out of benign moles (naevi) or can sometimes arise seemingly ‘out of nowhere’. Some melanomas tend to spread along the skin surface (superficial spreading melanoma) and others tend to spread quickly into the deeper layers of the skin (nodular melanomas). The latter type is particularly dangerous and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasize) quite early in their development. Once melanoma has spread to other areas of the body, nearby or distant, it is extremely hard to cure and has a high death rate. Although medical science is making great advances in the treatment of advanced melanoma, as always early detection and treatment is still by far the best outcome. Melanomas treated early with generous surgical excision have a survival rate after five years of 99 per cent. This is why regular skin cancer checks and early detection are so important. Squamous cell cancers SCCs are a non-melanoma skin cancer involving the superficial (squamous) cell layers of the skin and are strongly correlated with excessive UV exposure. They may develop from red scaly patches called ‘sun spots’ (solar keratoses) and can spread locally in the skin, into deeper structures, into nearby lymph nodes and occasionally to distant parts of the body. SCCs on the head and neck region can be particularly problematic if they invade deeper important structures. Again, early detection and generous surgical excision gives the best outcome. Very early SCCs may be treated by experienced medical professionals with various non-surgical techniques.


techniques, while other lesions need traditional surgical excision. There are other rarer forms of skin cancer, but these three are the most common. In any case, if you find a new and unusual skin spot or bump, get it checked out by your GP. Is there anything else in relation to this topic you’d like to add? The risk of skin cancer is related to inherited factors such as skin type, hair colour (red heads need to be particularly vigilant), some medications and – most importantly – UV exposure from the sun and tanning machines. You can’t help inherited factors, but you can do something to reduce your risk from UV exposure – ‘Slip Slop Slap’ is still as true now as it was in the Eighties! Of course, we all need some sun exposure to prevent Vitamin D deficiency, but we all should be sensible about deliberately exposing our skin to excessive amounts of UV radiation. Early detection and definitive treatment of skin cancer is incredibly important – Queensland GPs and dermatologists are worldrenowned for their experience in detecting and treating skin cancer, especially in its early form. Make a regular skin check – at least once a year – part of your regular health check regime!

Types of skin cancer

Varieties of superficial radiotherapy have been used to treat skin cancers for well over a century, with the first documented case treated in 1903. For non-melanoma skin cancers, superficial radiotherapy plays a significant role in the treatment and cure of the disease. It is an ideal non-surgical treatment option for Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Bowen’s Disease with cure rates similar to that of surgery (a fiveyear recurrence free rate of 90 per cent), but with no cutting and no surgical scars. Superficial radiotherapy is a type of low energy x-ray used to treat layers of the skin, hence the name ‘superficial.’

It’s a highly established and effective treatment that offers pinpoint accuracy by targeting the DNA of the affected cells. This makes for an extremely safe, nonsurgical solution that is accompanied by high cure rates and great cosmetic outcomes. Just Skin Treatment Clinic is the only facility of its kind between Brisbane and Townsville to offer this treatment option. If you would like more information, please call Just Skin on 5348 9460, email admin@justskin.com.au or visit www.justskin.com.au

Same Day Appointments Available

OPEN 7 DAYS Ph. 5438 1200


• Experienced GPs with a special interest in Skin Cancer Medicine • Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of Skin Cancers • Skin Checks are Bulk Billed • Skin Procedures are Bulk Billed • Quality Family Healthcare • Male & Female GPs • Accredited General Practice

Radiotherapy has long been used in the treatment of all types of cancer for the purpose of curing, controlling or relieving the symptoms of the disease, and in most cases has achieved outstanding results.

This means no other internal or external organs are impacted.

BCCs are a non-melanoma skin cancer involving the deep layers of the skin epidermis (basal cells) and are also strongly correlated with excessive UV exposure. They are slower growing and usually slower in their ability to invade deeper structures. BCCs should, however, not be ignored and can cause significant problems if left untreated, particularly in the head and neck region. Once again, early detection and definitive treatment is best. Early BCCs can sometimes be treated with non-surgical

Apollo General Practice ac ce

Shedding light on radiotherapy for skin cancers

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apollogp.com.au Dr Yasser Zeidan, Dr Ayman Arnaouty, Dr Fatin Gabriel, Dr Jean-Marc de Maroussem, Accredited with GPA

Dr Peter Kamen, Dr David Blackburn, Dr Yoko Yamauchi, Dr Leticia Figueiredo, Dr Dmytro Nechyporenko





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• For the average adult, the Cancer Council recommends at least one teaspoon per limb, front & back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, ears and neck. • Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. • Make sure you still use protective clothing, hat & eyewear. • Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours especially after swimming, exercising or excessive perspiration.

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