‘I love a sunburnt country,’ wrote Dorothea Mackellar. And most Aussies agree – soaking up the golden rays as we explore, play, exercise and relax.
In such a sun-drenched country like ours, though, there are some serious risks to consider before we enjoy our time outside.
And most of us know the dangers of our sunburnt country – especially for our skin.
In Australia, there a more diagnoses of skin cancer each year than for any other cancer. Eighty percent of newly diagnosed cancers are skin cancers.
And the rate of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world – more than double that of Canada, the UK and the USA.
We also now know that most skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. Or, more specifically, the UV radiation of the sun. Which means: skin cancer is mostly preventable.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Everyone has some risk of skin cancer, which increases as you age.
The main risk factors for skin cancer include:
A lot of younger people have a ‘buy now, pay later’ sort of attitude to sun protection. Skin cancer doesn’t appear until years after the UV damage happens. It can be easy to take risks when the consequence is far off.
Which is why health organisations keep making a lot of noise about skin cancer. The time to take action is today.
One key thing you can do right now is to become familiar with the look of your skin. This makes it easier to pick up any changes that need to get checked out. Look out for:
Monitor your skin and tell your doctor if you notice any changes.
To speak with an InstantScripts GP:
No matter your skin type or your risk factors, you should always:
15 – 21 November 2020 is the Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Action Week. The Cancer Council continues its decades-long promotion of good sun sense to all Australians. Plus, they continue to encourage our governments and health councils to keep skin cancer research as a top priority. You can support the Cancer Council here.