Emma from Newtown, New South Wales, Australia asked:

Is eyelid cancer more common than people think?

Eyelid cancer

I read that eyelid cancer is one of the most common forms of skin cancer, is this true? How can I protect myself?

The source:
Our answer

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which maintains figures on cancer incidence and mortality, cancer of the eyelid comprises a small percentage of overall skin cancer. For example, it represents just half of one per cent of all melanoma cases and is similarly low for non-melanoma skin cancer. In women, melanoma occurs most often on the legs, followed by the arms, trunk, then head and neck. Melanoma in men occurs most often on the trunk followed by the head and neck, arms then legs. In both sexes, about half of all basal cell carcinoma lesions occur on the head or neck. Most squamous cell carcinoma lesions in males also occur on the head or neck, but in females the most common areas are the upper limbs. These are the areas of skin that are most often exposed to sunlight. That’s not to downplay the risk to your eyelids and eyes. For the best protection, make sure you wear sunglasses, sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat. These measures can reduce UV radiation to the eyes and skin around the eyes by 50%.

This page was last updated on: July 1, 2014
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