Skin Cancer Awareness

This week marks the national skin cancer awareness week.

Even though we should be sun smart all year round, the warmer weather does prompt us to think about looking after our skin. 

For the ‘Silent  Generation’ and ‘Baby boomers’ most of our sun damage occurred when we were young.  Even though sunscreen was commercially available in 1938, it was the advertising from Coppertone that improved the use of sunscreen during the 1950s.  For those of us old enough, remember the Coppertone girl?

Over exposure of ultraviolet radiation may be responsible for skin cancer, therefore it is important to know what level is safe.  The Anti-Cancer Council recommends the application of sunscreen when the UV Index is 3 or above.  You can download the Sunsmart app onto your smart phone, if you have one, to check the UV Index for each day.  Remember that ultraviolet radiation can also occur on overcast days, so don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the temperature is cooler that you wont be exposed to these damaging rays.

Also think about getting any suspicious freckles and moles checked.  Lesions that change colour, shape or texture could be a sign that you may have a skin cancer.  Did you know that 2 out 3 Aussies will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70?  And melanoma is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.  The cure rate of skin cancer is very high if diagnosed early – so don’t delay and book an appointment today.

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