Australians love the great outdoors and our sunny skies make the Australian lifestyle one of the most envied in the world. Not withstanding, the extensive “Slip Slop Slap” campaign, many Australians are still exposing themselves to the severity and dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
It's essential to check your skin regularly. Early detection of skin cancers is very important, especially for melanoma, as the survival rate is much greater when caught early. Research shows that it can sometimes be as little as a matter of months between when a melanoma is first detected to the point where it metastasises and becomes a lot more difficult to treat.
Dr. Craig Sinclair "urges Aussies to continue using sun protection, regardless of decreasing temperatures. I just want to reinforce the importance of prevention. It makes the world of difference if you can detect skin cancer early."
He continues by saying "My best advice is to continue to choose sun protection whenever there is a UV index greater than three." For some states such as Queensland and the Northern Territory, the index hardly falls below three, so sun protection is recommended all year round."
"But once again, just because it's getting cooler, doesn't mean you through sun protection out the window. Don't be fooled by temperature, it's not related to UV." Dr Sinclair is Chair of the Skin Cancer Committee for Cancer Council Australia.
More than 11,500 Australians are diagnosed with a melanoma each year and 434,000 with non-melanoma skin cancers. 2000 of them will die annually, more than killed in road accidents. The real tragedy is that these skin cancer deaths are preventable in most cases.
For the untrained eye, a melanoma or skin cancer can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to spot. This is the reason why you should also visit your GP or dermatologist once a year.
It is still essential that you check your skin regularly. If you notice that something is changing, or it appears to be a different colour, starts to bleed and doesn't heal properly, then you should go and see your GP or dermatologist as soon as possible.
The ABCDE has been created to help you define what to look out for:
The SOLBARI Team
This blog post is for information purpose only.
Here, we bust the myths about melanoma, skin cancer and sun protection. We give you healthy tips about UPF50+ sun protective clothing and SPF50+ sunscreen.
Over the coming weeks, we will be publishing more stories from our Solbari Community with a mission to help raise awareness about skin cancer, melanoma, sun protection, and skin conditions.
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