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Protect yourself from skin cancer this summer

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with at least two in three people being diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.

It is estimated that if we reduce our lifetime exposure to UV radiation by 20 per cent, Australia would have about one third fewer cases of skin cancer.

Sun exposure is the cause of around 99 per cent of all non-melanoma skin cancers and 95 per cent of melanomas in Australia*.

When do I need sun protection?

Sun protection is required when the UV is three and above. To avoid skin damage, it is best to follow the below five steps:

1. SLIP on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.

2. SLOP on some broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or greater) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards, more frequently if you’re heavily sweating or towel drying. Apply at least a teaspoon of sunscreen for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears.

3. SLAP on a hat – broad brim, bucket or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears is best. Caps and visors do not provide adequate protection and are not considered suitable.

4. SEEK SHADE from the sun wherever possible, especially between 10am and 3pm when the UV is at its peak.

5. SLIDE on some sunglasses that are polarised, close-fitting, and meet Australian standards.

For more information about skin cancer, UV radiation and being smart in the sun, visit www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/

Sources: www.cancer.org.au

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