Australians Urged to be ‘Sun Smart’ to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

by VR Sreeraman on  December 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
 Australians Urged to be ‘Sun Smart’ to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk
It's the season to be jolly, but the AMA is reminding people that it is also the season to be sun smart to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said many people look forward to spending time at the beach or taking part in other outdoor activities over the holiday period, following their family gatherings at Christmas.

"It's easy to get carried away with the festivities at this time of year, but it's important that Australians remember to slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses to protect themselves from harmful UV exposure," Dr Pesce said.

Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia, with 10,000 newly diagnosed cases of melanoma and about 1250 deaths from melanoma each year.

"Melanoma risk increases with exposure to UV radiation, particularly with episodes of sunburn," Dr Pesce said.

"Yet, in Australia, almost 14 per cent of adults, 24 per cent of teenagers, and eight per cent of children are sunburnt on weekends.

"This can be prevented by re-applying sun block properly and at suitable intervals.

"Sun safety is also important on cool and overcast days, because there is still a risk of getting sunburnt."

Dr Pesce said that failure to take the right steps to guard against sunburn has short and long term health consequences.

"It is estimated that GPs conduct more than one million skin cancer-related patient consultations per year," he said.

"Don't be one in that one million - protect yourself and your loved ones this summer by taking simple precautions."

Source: AMA

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