Staying safe this Summer

With Summer just around the corner, it's a timely reminder of the risks of skin cancer.

According to the Cancer Council, Australia has the unenviable title of being the skin cancer capital of the world. More than 11,500 Australians are diagnosed with Melanoma each year and an estimated 434,000 are treated for one or more Non-Melanoma skin cancers.*

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged by over exposure to ultra violet rays from the sun.

The good news is that skin cancer is almost entirely preventable. While we love to spend time in the sun, there's a few precautions to take that are vital to protect your skin while enjoy the outdoors:

  1. Apply a high sun protection factor sunscreen every day, even on cloudy or overcast days. The highest possible SPF sunscreen available in Australia is SPF50+ with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. SPF is the ‘Sun Protection Factor’ against UVB which causes most damage.

 

  1. Re-apply sunscreen regularly. Applying sunscreen before you head out for the day is simply not enough. Re-apply about every 2 hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming or exercising which causes the sunscreen to wear off faster.

 

  1. Always wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the sensitive areas like your face and nose, the tops of your ears and the top of your head.

 

  1. Wear a shirt to protect your shoulders, neck, torso and arms. Sun protective clothing that is manufactured with a 50+ SPF sun rating is ideal.

 

  1. Seek shade, especially in the middle part of the day. If going to the beach, invest in a beach tent to shelter from the harsh sun.

 

  1. Keep a close eye on your skin and look for spots that may change in size, colour, start itching or bleeding. Pay close attention to new moles that form or if a mole just looks odd to you. Be alert to any crusty, non-healing sores, small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour, new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months. If you notice anything unusual, please book an appointment for a skin check without delay.

 

We know life gets busy and time gets away from us. But early prevention of skin cancer is important. Survival from Melanoma is strongly associated with early detection. Book an appointment at Thornton Medical Centre for a skin check today.

 

* Source: https://www.cancer.org.au/about-us/policy-and-advocacy/position-statements/sunsmart

From October 1st 2023 we will only be bulking billing children 15 years and below and pension card holders 70 years and older for standard and long consultations. All other consultations or procedures will be private billed including Mental Health Care Plans.