The beginning of National skin cancer action week is the start or being SunSmart. Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, including non-melanoma and Melanoma skin cancer cells. Every year skin cancers account for nearly 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers at Sundoctors. Nearly 2,000 people die from this disease each year. From the start, more than 95% of skin cancer cases are caused due to unprotected exposure to UV rays from the sun, which means it is a nearly preventable cancer.
Many Australians still remember the Sid’s Seagull campaign from the 1980s that launched the Slip-Slop, Slap message.
Many things have changed since then but it is still the same sun. It is not just that fair skin people are at high risk of skin damage, non protected exposure to UV rays can damage all the types of skin. It is also not just the sun-seekers who can get skin cancer. All the people may be exposed to dangerous levels of UV radiation during their daily activities, whether it be walking the dog, having a picnic or just gardening. When the level of UV is 3 or above then protection from the sun is required. If your skin becomes dark, it is an indication of skin cells in trauma, even if there is no peeling or redness. Think back on what Side taught in the eighties and remember his sun smart message.
So this summer, trip down the memory lane when you learnt about the risk of tanning. Let us make sun protection fun for the entire family by singing Sid’s Jingle slip slop, slap and teaching them about the five simple things that can be done to protect you and your family and decrease the risk of skin cancer.
- Slip-on sun-protective clothing that covers the skin as much as possible.
- Slop on broad-spectrum, SPF30 sunscreen. Put it for 20 minutes before going outdoors and every 2 hours after. Sunscreen should not be used to extend the time in the sun.
- Slap on a hat- with brim style to safeguard your face, neck, head, and ears.
- Seek shade
- Slide on the sunglasses.
As sunscreen alone is not a suit of armour a combination of these five measures, along with knowing your skin and regularly checking for any changes is the key. From 1980 still today the Cancer Council has been front and centre of skin Cancer prevention. As long as the sun shines they will not stop working with the help of the supporters to reduce skin cancer rates and save lives. The time to stop cancer is before it starts. So let us try to make the future cancer-free.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer. Melanoma was the fourth commonly diagnosed cancer and is estimated that it will be the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2020. Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. The UV rays on the sun is the major cause of skin cancer. UV rays also cause sunburn, premature ageing, tanning and eye damage. The good news is that by using Sun smart we can prevent damage or skin colour and repair.