This morning (Wed 23rd November) Brumbie players teamed up with Cancer Council ACT to raise skin cancer prevention awareness for National Skin Cancer Action Week (November 20-26). A reminder that not only summer is just around the corner but more importantly Canberrans need to ramp up their sun protection behaviour and diligence to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
President of Cancer Council ACT, Christine Brill, says that our most current data (released this week) suggest that locally less than 1 in 4 Canberra adults will use a combination of three or more sun protection measures to protect themselves over summer, this is a worry considering Australia has the highest skin cancer rates in the world and yet the vast majority of skin cancers can be prevented by being SunSmart.
Today 26 Brumby players are raising skin cancer awareness in Canberra by stripping off to take part in a skin cancer check performed by local Dermatologist Dr Andrew Miller.
Local dermatologist and spokesperson for the Australasian College of Dermatologists Dr Miller stresses that most skin cancers can be prevented but the reality is that Australia has the highest incident of skin cancers in the world- and Canberra is not immune! “Of course working outdoors (ie sports people) means more daily UV exposure- more UV exposure means more skin damage and with it an increased risk of developing skin cancer, including deadly melanoma”.
President of Australian Medical Association (ACT) Dr Steve Robson said that “sensible sun protection is important regardless of your age or lifestyle.”
“For older Canberrans, it’s important not to be complacent when it comes to sensible sun protection because research tells us that skin cancer risk is reduced, regardless of your age, if sun protection is used”.
“Let’s also not forget that, for older people like me, much of the damage has already been done and that ‘knowing your skin’ is important because early detection is a key part of combating skin cancer.” Prof Robson added.
Brumbies spokesperson says our squad will spend up to four hours a day training outside in direct sunlight, and it’s important that the players are aware of this potential training hazard, utilise the protection provided, and take these additional precautions to enable them to both train optimally and protect their long term health”.
Cancer Council ACT recommends that Canberrans of all ages Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide whenever UV levels are 3 and above. Older Canberrans are also encouraged to get in the habit of knowing their own skin for any changes and to speak with a GP if they have any concern or worries.