04 February 2015
This World Cancer Day (4 Feb) Cancer Council SA released new research showing that approximately 26,000 more South Australian adults are getting sunburnt on the weekend than they were four years ago, increasing their risk of skin cancer.
Findings from Cancer Council’s National Sun Survey suggest the downward trend in adult sunburn since 2003/04 has hit a hurdle, with adults potentially becoming more complacent about the dangers of excessive exposure to UV rays.
Most concerning is that this latest data shows that on a summer weekend roughly 150,000 South Australians are getting sunburnt.
The increase in sunburn rates over the last four years follows the national trend and provides cause for concern.
Possible explanations for the higher rates of sunburn include an increase in the amount of time adults spend outdoors during peak UV periods increasing their chances of getting sunburnt.
This data highlights the need for the State Government to invest in skin cancer prevention campaigns to ensure adults remained vigilant about skin cancer.
We also know that 18 per cent of adults nationally didn’t protect their skin from the sun on the most recent day when they spent more than an hour outside during summer.
The survey also suggests men in particular are neglecting sun protection, with 18 per cent nationally getting sunburnt on the weekend, compared to 12 per cent of women.
Almost all skin cancers are caused by UV exposure, so it’s important organisations like Cancer Council, as well as government, continue to remind Australians that skin cancer is largely preventable and encourage them to take the simple steps to lower their skin cancer risk – slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.
We will continue to work hard to raise awareness in this space.
Professor Brenda Wilson
Cancer Council SA
Find out how you can protect your skin here.
For cancer information and support, please call Cancer Council 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm.