Aussies need to protect themselves from 'everyday' sun damage
1 December 2018
As summer hits, Australians are being urged to protect themselves from sunburn while doing everyday activities like driving, having coffee with friends, or heading outside during your lunchbreak.
CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia, Matthew Browne, says whilst the majority of people know they need to protect themselves from the sun when they’re heading to the beach, they tend to forget about incidental sun damage that occurs during everyday activities.
‘Our message this summer is clear – protect yourself from everyday sun damage and reduce your risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer,’ Mr Browne said.
‘How often have you arrived home after a day of running around to find your arm, shoulder, face or one side of your leg tinged pink with sunburn? This incidental or ‘everyday’ sunburn is no less damaging than sunburn from a day at the beach.
‘Wearing sunscreen should be as automatic as wearing a seatbelt. Both are potential life savers.’
Melanoma kills one Australian every five hours and is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year olds. UV exposure leading to sunburn is the greatest risk factor for developing melanoma later in life.
Men particularly are at risk, with recent studies showing less than one-in-three men consider themselves at high risk of the disease despite melanoma death rates in men being on the rise.
Using SPF 50+ sunscreen is one of the five sun safe rules, along with wearing a broad-brimmed hat, covering up with long pants, sleeves and sunglasses, and seeking shade in the hottest part of the day.
To keep sunscreen top of mind over summer, Melanoma Institute Australia is releasing a series of suncreen tips for everyday Aussies. Fronted by Melanoma Institute Australia’s Community Engagement Manager and melanoma survivor Jay Allen, the light-hearted social campaign has a serious message.
‘Jay is your quintessential Aussie bloke, a former truck driver who now dedicates his life to helping prevent melanoma. What better person to front our campaign and hopefully get everyday Aussies, particularly men, on board in embracing daily sunscreen use,’ Mr Browne said.
‘Jay’s tips will include everything from putting sunscreen next to your toothbrush to remind you to use it each morning after cleaning your teeth, to adding sunscreen to the Christmas stocking, making daily sunscreen use your New Years’ resolution, and adding sunscreen to the bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day.
View our ‘Sunscreen tips for everyday Aussies’ for the first day of Summer below.
‘We are committed to achieving our mission of zero deaths from melanoma, with education and prevention critical to that,’ he said.
Jay Allen added; ‘As a truck driver for many years, I know too well how sunburnt you can get out on the road, with your hands on the steering wheel and one side of your face bearing the brunt of the sun. Just because the airconditioning may be keeping you cool doesn’t mean you’re not getting sunburnt, so sunscreen use is a must.
‘If my tips can prompt Australians to make sunscreen use part of their everyday routine, then we will be well on our way to slashing melanoma rates and saving lives.’
The series of videos will be rolled out progressively over summer.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
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