The incidence of melanoma in Australia continues to rise each year, according to recent analysis of the Victorian Cancer Registry melanoma data.
According to the Australasian College of Dermatologists, this is especially true for males who have an annual growth rate of 1% which means hundreds more Australians will be diagnosed with their first invasive melanoma.
President of the Australasian College of Dermatologists (and former President of the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc), Associate Professor Chris Baker says, “Previous research by Australian dermatologists has shown that too many Australians are not using sufficient sun protection. We need to remember the slip, slop, slap, slide and seek shade message. It has been 30 years since the first sun protection campaign. We still have work to do as melanoma rates continue to rise.”
Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon, from the Australasian College of Dermatologists (and Vice President of the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc) says, “One reason for sunburning is lack of awareness of ultraviolet (UV), not heat, which burns the skin. This is especially relevant in cooler southern Australia. Thus a mild January day in Tasmania may be associated with high rates of sunburn, as the UV levels are very high at this time of the year. The solution is to access UV levels for locations all over Australia, through downloading a free app to your smartphone.”
Despite recent medical advances in the management of
advanced metastatic melanoma, prevention of melanoma by sun protection remains
the best medicine. Up to 95% of melanoma cases are caused by UV exposure which
means that proper sun protection behaviours are vital.
According to the College, whilst sunscreen remains the sun protection for most Australians, 85% don't know how much to apply to give themselves the sun protection factor (SPF) protection on the label.
Many people do not apply enough sunscreen to the skin. Roll-ons or sprays, while convenient, may not deliver enough sunscreen to the skin.
See the College's media statement.
See also Sunscreen Explained.