The current skin cancer screening program has been a Lions District C2 project since 2011 and District C1 since 2014. The following outcomes have been achieved:
12,000 (December 2018) people have been screened
very high referral rate of 22% to general practitioners for further investigation
2,364 (19%) have been identified as having suspected life threatening lesions if no further medical attention is taken.
The Two C1 & C2 Districts have 135 Lions Clubs throughout South Australia, Northern Territory and areas of western Victoria and New South Wales
Australia's Skin Cancer Epidemic
Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world.
Two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer.
It is the most common cancer affecting young Australians.
Early diagnosis has a dramatic and critical impact on successful treatment because skin cancers can grow rapidly.
If a melanoma on the skin’s surface is treated, you have a better than 95% chance of a normal life span. But, if not diagnosed and treated, that same melanoma can, in only a few months, grow down into the skin just 4mm – it is then odds-on that you will die within 5 years.
Every day, 6 Australians die from skin cancer.
Quite aside from the human cost, the cost to the Australian health system is over $1 billion a year; and to the Australian economy in lost productivity over $2 billion a year.
Skin specialist services in SA and NT are limited or non-existent outside of Adelaide –
There are no public funded skin cancer screening programs.
There are 39 dermatologists in SA/NT – all live and have their principal practices in Adelaide.
If a Darwin resident has a skin abnormality that they are worried about examined in Adelaide, the cost of time off work, travel, accommodation, and medical costs not covered by insurance is a minimum of $1,500.
For Australia’s indigenous population, who make up a third of the Northern Territory’s population and earn just $270 per week, skin cancer screening and/or treatment are simply out of reach.
Screening Results for South Australia and Northern Territory
The Lions Skin Cancer Screening program has been operating in South Australia and the Northern Territory since 2011 when Lions District C2 first commenced screenings, Lions District C1 joined the program in 2014 and during that time we have carried out full body screenings on a total of 9,849 patients (as at 31/12/17). 2,168 patients or 22% were referred on to their nominated GPs for further investigation and alarmingly of those some 1,812 suspect lesions were found to be life threatening.
This is a national epidemic and cannot go unchallenged ……..
The Tyranny of Distance:
The geographical area covered by C Districts is absolutely enormous, servicing some 135 clubs located throughout South Australia, the Northern Territory and parts of Western Victoria and New South Wales. The challenge of serving these areas cannot be overstated.
The need for a mobile skin cancer screening unit to service regional communities has never been more critical so the Lions Medical Research Foundation on behalf of the Lions of C Districts and in cooperation with the Lions Cancer Institute of Western Australia embarked on an expanded program to fund the purchase of a purpose built mobile unit to better service the needs of the community in the regional areas of central Australia.
Thanks to the generosity of Lions club members, LCI and the ALF the total funding of $200,000 dollars required for the project was achieved and the new Mobile Unit is now a reality and will be operational from February 2017.