Skin cancer has a huge impact on men and women; currently, one person dies of melanoma every hour (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d). Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds and the like is the primary cause of skin cancer, causing skin to change colour, burn or blister (Cancer Council SA, n.d). This can lead to skin cancer in the future. Check out this video to see the effects of tanning.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SLAP, SEEK, SLIDE! You need to:
- SLIP on some sun-protective clothing, that covers as much skin as possible;
- SLOP on some water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen (at least a teaspoon for each limb and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears), 20 minutes before you go outdoors;
- SLAP on a hat to protect your face, head, neck and ears;
- SEEK shade, so that you are shielded from some of the sun’s harmful rays; and
- SLIDE on some sunglasses.
Some more ways to protect yourself from the risk of skin cancer are:
- Planning activities outside the times of 10am and 3pm, when the suns rays are most harsh;
- Re-applying sunscreen at least every two hours; and
- Wearing loose clothing when in the sun.
Be sure to check for skin every three months. To do this, you can use the ABCDE test:
- Evolution or Elevation
Statistics on Skin Cancer:
- Skin cancers account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers (CancerCouncil Australia, 2012).
- Melanoma accounts for one third of all cancers in females and one quarter in males (Cancer Council ACT, n.d).
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined number of new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d).
- Australian adolescents having the highest incident of melanoma in the world (AustralianGovernment Department of Health and Ageing, 2011).
- Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d).
- One in 58 Caucasian women and on in 39 Caucasian men will develop melanoma in their lifetimes (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d).
- Until age 39, women are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma as men (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d).
- The number of women under age 40 diagnosed with basal cell carcinoman (a type of skin cancer) has more than doubled in the last 30 years (The Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d).