Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in every three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. This is largely due to our climate, the fact that many of us have fair skin that isn?t suited to such harsh conditions, our proximity to the equator and our love of the great outdoors. Too much sun exposure can lead to problems like sunburn, premature skin ageing, cataracts and skin cancer.
Anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer. Although the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma is most strongly related to intermittent sun exposure (as may be experienced on holiday or weekends). Skin cancers form when skin cells are damaged by UV radiation penetrating the skin and cause the skin cells to mutate and grow abnormally.
Sunburn is not the only cause of skin cancer. Tanning or just too much sun year after year, can also lead to people developing the disease.
The answer is not to avoid going out in the sun, just don?t overdo it!
Cancer Council recommends a five simple step approach to sun protection:
Cancer Council recommends adoption of sun protection measures when the UV Index is 3 or above. The UV Alert is published daily in newspapers and can be found at www.bom.gov.au/uv
For more information on sun protection visit www.cancer.org.au/sunsmart