- On December 8, 2015
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Saxon Smith, is reminding Australians about the deadly threat of skin cancer ahead of his presentation at an international conference on the disease in Melbourne.
“At my practice, diagnosing new skin cancers is a daily occurrence for me but I’d prefer to help people prevent getting skin cancer in the first place,” Dr Smith said.
“It’s been a very sunny start to summer and the timing of the third International UV and Skin Cancer Prevention Conference couldn’t be a better reminder for Australians to be sun safe.
“This is a medical conference and we’re going to be talking about the end results of UV exposure – skin cancer and the deaths it results in.
“We will also be discussing other medical realities like how even successful surgeries for skin cancers found on the face can cause disfiguration.
“95 per cent of skin cancer is preventable, so wear protective clothing, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and seek shade in peak UV times,” Dr Smith said.
“All Australians should be wearing sunscreen every day of the year but that’s especially the case in summer.
“The sun doesn’t discriminate based on what purpose you’re outside for, whether you’re at the beach or just walking to work.
“All accumulated UV exposure contributes to your lifetime risk of skin cancer,” Dr Smith said.
“My research has shown that even when people do wear sunscreen, they don’t act on well-known guidelines for its use – like reapplying every two hours.
“It’s important that we do better when it comes to our use of sunscreen because Australia has the highest incidence of the disease in the world,” Dr Smith said.
“It’s also important that we give more prominence to less well-known but no less vital information about sunscreen.
“For example, it’s important to buy fresh sunscreen every summer.
“This is because heat damages sunscreen, so that bottle you’ve stored throughout summer will be less effective than newly purchased sunscreen.
“Sunscreen also has an expiry date, which means that bottle your bought two or three years ago definitely needs replacing,” Dr Smith said.
“Australian summers are a great excuse to get out and about but you need to make sure you’re properly protected from the sun,” Dr Smith said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955