Two in three people in Queensland at risk of skin cancer
Posted on Thursday, 5 July 2012
Federal Member for Flynn Mr Ken O’Dowd has thrown his weight – and skin - behind an innovative new campaign to cut Australia’s high rate of skin cancer.
The Know Your Own Skin campaign has been developed by leading experts to encourage people to check their skin – the body’s biggest organ – at the start of each season for sun damage and to ask their local GP for a skin check during their next visit.
Simple skin checks can help detect changes in skin, helping to save lives. Clinical data shows one in two Australians will develop a sun spot (solar keratoses) on their skin which may lead to skin cancer if not detected and treated early.2 Two in three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.3
Queensland residents are better than most Australians, with one in two (54%) locals failing to get their skin checked by a healthcare professional in the last 12 months despite having suffered from sunburn in the past, according to recent research.1 Across Australia, two in three people (64%) did not get their skin checked in the last 12 months.
To make self skin checking simple and easy, an interactive free iPhone app has been developed. The app – available at www.knowyourownskin.com – contains:
· eight simple steps to check your own skin;
· what to look for (beyond just moles);
· an interactive photo bank;
· reminder service to track changes that may occur over time
Dr Andrew Miller, a Canberra based Consultant Dermatologist who assisted with checking the skin of the members of Parliament on Tuesday says “Sun damage can take years or even decades to show up on the skin and it is essential people, especially those over the age of 40, check for signs of sun damage on a regular basis."
Mr O’Dowd said “All Australians are at risk of developing sun damage related skin conditions, due to our past sunbathing habits and the inevitable exposure we all get to the sun’s UV rays”.
“It is a concern that so few people in Flynn have had their skin checked in the past 12 months.
“We should all – myself included - conduct a simple skin check at the start of each season,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“A regular self-skin check using the free tools that you can find at www.knowyourownskin.com can usually pick up signs of potential sun damage,” Dr Miller advises.
Dr Shobhan Manoharan a consultant Dermatologist from Queensland who also provided skin checks to the MPs said “People should visit their family doctor for a regular full body skin check as part of a routine medical check-up. This will allow an early diagnosis of any areas of damage and then recommend appropriate treatment.”