Watch Your Mate's Back: helping young Australians recognise melanoma

Watch Your Mate's Back: helping young Australians recognise melanoma

30 November 2015

‘Watch Your Mate’s Back’, in partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, focuses on three simple steps: prevent, detect and act.

MIA’s Executive Director, Professor John Thompson said: “Checking your own skin is one of the most effective ways of detecting melanoma.  We all need to watch for skin lesions that change in size, shape or colour, develop an irregular border, become itchy or repeatedly bleed. 

“Of course there are hard-to-see places on our own bodies.  One quarter of melanomas are detected by someone other than the person with the melanoma. That’s what makes ‘Watch Your Mate’s Back’ an important summer awareness campaign.”

Professor Thompson added: “Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. Up to 90% of melanomas are triggered by UV radiation from the sun.  To reduce the risk we need to adopt sun-safe practices such as wearing sun protective clothing and a hat, seeking shade when possible and applying sunscreen.”

Sky News presenter Jacinta Tynan hosted the campaign launch and celebrity personal trainer Shannan Ponton spoke about his own melanoma diagnosis. NSW Surf Lifesaver of the Year Rosie Taliano and former Ironman Champion Guy Leech were also on hand to help spread awareness about melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Visit the Watch Your Mate’s Back website to learn more and to download resources.

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