New Melanoma Campaign Hits the Beach

New Melanoma Campaign Hits the Beach

New Melanoma Campaign Hits the Beach

One in 13 males and one in 24 females in NSW are likely to develop potentially deadly melanoma by their 85th birthday.

Anita Dessaix, Cancer Prevention Manager at the Cancer Institute NSW said the latest figures show that sun protection must remain a top priority for all Australians.

'Summer is on the way. If people haven't already begun to think about the damage sun is doing to their skin, they need to start now.

'Today marks the start of national skin cancer action week and the start of our new Dark Side of Tanning campaign. Weeks like national skin cancer action week encourage people to think about their sun behaviours; this campaign will do the same.

'From tonight, the Dark Side of Tanning advertisements will be back on our screens. This year we are focussing on an Australian icon – the surfer."

Ms Dessaix said the Cancer Institute found that since the Dark Side of Tanning campaign began, there had been a 9 per cent decline in pro-tan attitudes in NSW.

'The aim of this campaign is to ensure people understand and are reminded of the dangers of not protecting themselves from the sun.

'The Dark Side of Tanning advertisement graphically illustrates how a deadly melanoma smaller than a pin-head can spread throughout the body.

'What people fail to realise is that damage to the skin can happen even before the skin starts to show signs of burning.

'If not detected and treated early, a melanoma no deeper than one millimetre can become an extremely deadly disease, spreading and infecting other organs in the body."

'Melanoma one of the most serious cancer issue affecting our young people, but we can reduce the risk by getting everyone to protect their skin when they're outdoors this summer.

'While overall melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in NSW, it is the number one cancer amongst men aged 25 to 54 and women aged 15 to 29."

In 2008, 3,591 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in NSW; next year the number is expected to be 4,150.

Also according to the latest figures, 343 NSW residents lost their lives to melanoma in 2008.

'Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer is almost entirely preventable through avoiding over exposure to UV radiation," said Ms Dessaix.

'Prevention can be achieved through the use of some pretty simple measures such as seeking shade during the hottest part of the day, wearing protective clothing, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen.

'My message today is a simple one: there is nothing healthy about tanning – be it from the sun or solariums," said Ms Dessaix.

The Dark Side of Tanning will air across NSW from Sunday, November 21 and continue throughout summer.

The Cancer Institute NSW is Australia's first State-wide Government cancer control agency. It was established in July 2003 through the Cancer Institute NSW Act 2003 to help lessen the impact of cancer. The Cancer Institute NSW is responsible for reducing cancer incidence, increasing cancer survival, improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their carers and providing expert advice on cancer.