We all know that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. In fact, 2 in 3 Australians will develop some form of skin cancer before the age of 70. But what does this really mean to me, the average punter and what practical things can I do to minimise my risk?

Prevention

The main cause of skin cancer is UV radiation in sunlight so the best way to prevent skin cancers is to avoid prolonged sunlight exposure and tanning solariums.

Whenever we go out into the sunlight, we should always SLIP on protective clothing, SLOP on SPF 30+ sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, SEEK shade and SLIDE on sunglasses.

Self-Awareness and Self-Checks

We need to be aware of our personal risk and be vigilant of our own skin. We are more at risk if we have multiple moles, a family history of skin cancer, high levels of sun exposure, fair skin and hair or are immune suppressed.

Check your own skin regularly and pay attention to any new changes. Look for crusting, non-healing sores and new or changing moles, which are irregularly shaped, have an irregular border and different colours.

See your GP

See your GP for a full skin check and work out a regular skin check plan. Your doctor should review any new or changing moles as soon as possible. Your GP will also be able to advise on how to treat suspicious moles and skin cancers.

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We are blessed with some of the best beaches and natural outdoors in the world. We should make the most of our beautiful weather and get out there! Being smart about skin cancer by following the simple steps above means we can still have fun in the sun. Enjoy!

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