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National Skin Cancer Action Week November 20-26 2016

Monday, October 31st, 2016

With the weather warming up the Australian summer offers the promise of more time outdoors doing the various activities we enjoy. The iconic images of the bronzed Aussie on the beach or the intrepid family in the outdoors is a deep part of our national identity. The pursuit of a tan was almost considered a national pastime.

As much as we are blessed by the enviable natural beauty of our environment and many days of sunshine, how many of us have been distracted and missed the chance to protect our skin from the sun especially on an overcast day?

From November 20 – 26 the Cancer Council of Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists combine to hold National Skin Cancer Week. Many ad campaigns have been run very successfully over the decades educating Australians about UV, sun protection and checking for changes to our skin.

Although our awareness about skin cancer has improved, more than 2000 people in Australia die from skin cancer every year and according to the Cancer Council, over $1 billion is spent treating skin cancer. Sunburn causes 95% of melanomas so managing your exposure to the sun is the best kind of prevention.

Two out of three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70 and one in two Aussie sunburns occur during everyday activity.

21% through outdoor sport and other active recreation.
50% is from passive recreation around the home, doing chores, gardening, BBQ’s and socialising.
29% from beach, water and pool activities.

Prevention is still the best form of defense against skin cancer. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the Australian summer with some good sun protection habits. Checking the expiry of your sunscreen is a good start.

Use SPF 30 or SPF 50 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and combine it with a broad brimmed hat and wear sunglasses where possible, even on an overcast day when UV rays tend to be stronger. Make a habit of checking your skin and keeping a caring eye on any moles or spots so if you notice changes, you can act quickly and speak to your doctor or a dermatologist.

For all statistics and for more information click www.cancer.org.au