Have you had your skin checked lately?

The weather is beginning to warm up and we’re starting to stash our winter clothes until next year – so now is a great time to get a skin health check!

According to the Cancer Council, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime and more than 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers each year.

Worryingly, melanoma is one of the five cancers that account for more than 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.

The Cancer Council advises the following:

  • Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
  • Between 95% and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
  • GPs have more than 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
  • Incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK

These statistics are worrying, considering that a 2013 Canstar Blue survey of 1,461 Australian found that just one in four have their skin checked annually, with diligence increasing with age.

According to the research, just 23% of Generation Y respondents said they had their moles checked annually compared with 32% of Generation X respondents and 51% of Baby Boomers.

Men were more likely than women to have their moles checked – 41% compared with 36%.

As well as a skin check, it’s worth keeping in mind other preventative strategies – there are plenty outlined on the Sunsmart website.

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