Keratinocyte cancers, mainly basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most commonly occurring cancers in Australia. While they are rarely fatal they can cause significant morbidity and are an immense burden on our health system. Members of the Cancer Aetiology and Prevention Group are involved in two key projects aiming to further our understanding of these cancers:
- The Queensland BCC Study: A high proportion of BCCs occur on parts of the body that are not routinely exposed to sunlight. In addition, it appears that sun exposure early in life may be a more important risk factor than sun exposure later in life. We are carrying out a study to understand how the causes of BCC arising on the head and neck differ to those arising on the trunk.
- The QSkin Study: Members of the Cancer Aetiology and Prevention Group are collaborators on the QSkin study. In particular we aim to document the incidence of keratinocyte cancer in a large cohort of Queenslanders and to describe risk factors for SCC and BCC.
The students involved in the skin cancer work are funded by the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Sun and Health.