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Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc Research Study – An Australian First


Occupational Sunlight Exposure and Non Melanoma Skin Cancer


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure from sunlight is the main environmental cause of all major forms of skin cancer. A recent review of the available epidemiological evidence by a group of German dermatologists found an increased risk of skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in individuals with occupational ultraviolet light exposure. To-date, there have been only two cohort studies performed in Australia in the 1980s to analyse the association between occupational ultraviolet light exposure and skin cancer despite Australia having the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. The evidence for substantiating our efforts in promoting sun protection measures and campaigns to increase awareness of skin cancer has been based on results emanating from studies conducted in Europe and North America. Given that a significant proportion of the Australian workforce is exposed to high levels of UV radiation, it only seems appropriate to validate our message on the importance on sun protection with evidence from within the country. This research project will be the first epidemiological study in Victoria specifically looking at the role of occupational sunlight exposure in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer in the Australian population.

The Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc is conducting a research project to investigate the role of occupational sunlight exposure in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer. Investigators include Dr Stephanie Tan, A/Prof Foley and A/Prof Nixon.

The eligibility criteria for this study are:

  • Men only
  • Age 40 years and above
  • Willing and able to provide informed consent
  • Diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer (BCC and SCC) for the first time in their life


Those who fulfil the eligibility criteria and would like to participate in this study will be asked to nominate two friends with no prior history of skin cancer as controls, matched to age (± 2.5 years) and sex and who must be willing to participate in the project. They will have a face-to-face interview with Dr Stephanie Tan in one of the consulting rooms at the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc.


The interview process will take between 45 to 60 minutes. Time taken for the study will be reimbursed. Participation will improve our understanding about occupational sunlight exposure in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer in the Australian population.

For further information concerning this project, please contact Dr Harini Bala on (03) 9623 9400 or email: hbala@skincancer.asn.au

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