The Cancer Council has warned us of an alarming trend in their latest research, which was released on 19 November 2017: Australians may be becoming complacent when it comes to sun protection.
According to the poll:
- 17 percent (down from 19 percent) slipped on clothing to protect them from the sun on the weekend
- More than 2.7 million adults are getting sunburnt on the weekend
In the past seven years, the study showed an increase in the number of people getting sunburn on the weekends. Sunburn cases have increased from 13 percent in 2010–2011 to 17 percent in 2016–2017.
The highest areas affected by what’s called adult weekend sunburn is in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and ACT at 25 percent, 21 percent, and 19 percent, respectively.
More than 3,600 Australian adults participated in The National Sun Protection Survey during the summer of 2016 to 2017 through phone interviews.
The Cancer Council conducts the survey every three to four years to get a pulse on the perspectives and behaviours of Australians regarding sunburns and their sun protection.
The Cancer Council in Australia notes that based on this latest data and study, adults are not as concerned as they should be about the dangers of UV rays.
Professor Sanchia Aranda, who is the CEO of Cancer Council Australia, sees this as alarming and urges the need for a renewed campaign for the entire county.
In Australia, one in 24 women and one in 14 men will be diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their life. In 2017, five people living in Australia are expected to die from the disease per day.
Role Reversal and the SunSmart Generation
A study reveals the start of a role reversal where Australian children are becoming more SunSmart than their parents. So much so that the youth are being labelled the SunSmart Generation.
Parents are seen protecting their kids with shade, sunscreen, hats, or rashies, but are not protecting themselves.
In light of these findings and using the theme “Join the Smart Generation”, the Australasian College of Dermatologists and Cancer Council Australia joined together to launch National Skin Cancer Action Week from 19–25 November. This event was set to remind all Australians, not just children, about how to best protect their skin.
Although parents protect their children, it is equally important for parents to protect themselves too. It’s never too late and you’re never too old for sun protection.
The concern is that people are not only avoiding sunscreen lotion but they are also removing clothes that expose them to a great deal of sun. Sunscreen is a good deterrent, but being protected by wearing clothes is also one of the best ways to avoid sunburn.
Equally important, if not more important, is that they should also have regular skin checks in order to detect melanoma at its earliest, most treatable stage.
Cases of Melanoma Are Rising amongst Australian Adults
The melanoma rates for adults are increasing. This is synonymous with recent alerts that fewer people are wearing the right clothing that can protect them from the sun.
While the melanoma rates in Australians aged 40 and younger are declining, the number of melanoma cases in adults are rising. The Australian Government Cancer Australia presents these statistics reflecting the increase in new melanoma cases.
- There are 13,941 new cases of melanoma among Australians in 2017 (8,392 males and 5,549 females)
- Compare that to the year 2013, where there were 12,744 new cases of melanoma cases in Australia (7,513 males and 5,232 females)
Anyone is at risk for developing melanoma no matter what age and smart sun protection habits they may have or not. That’s why it’s vital to get your skin checked regularly by a skin cancer detection expert and use and advanced technology, like MoleMap, to diagnose melanoma at its earliest, least threatening stage.