Data published by Australia’s Cancer Council has showed encouraging figures that fewer Aussies younger are being diagnosed with skin cancer.
The chairperson of Australia’s Cancer Council’s environmental cancer risk committee, Terry Slevin, speaking at the launch of Australia’s most comprehensive book on skin cancer prevention this week, said that the public health message slip, slop, slap’ was paying dividends.
The book, called Sun, Skin and Health and published through the CSIRO, based its evidence on data supplied by Medicare showing a 2% reduction in reported skin cancer cases between 2000 and 2011 for 25 to 34-year-olds and a 1% reduction in skin cancer diagnosis for the age group 35 to 44.
“People age 45 and under grew up with sun-smart messages and the slip, slop, slap’ campaign, messages which influenced the policy environment, said Slevin.
“But for people in their 50s and above, we’re seeing a 6% increase in skin cancer as a result of their high exposure to the sun. Unfortunately it was a population who used coconut oil and actively sought a tan.
The original ‘Slip, slop, slap’ advert, featuring Sid the Seagull, from 1980
The book dispels myths about skin cancer stating that there is no relation between sun protection and vitamin D deficiency, stating that even with sun screen Australians soak up more than enough sun to prevent this type of deficiency. It also gives evidence that sunscreen is safe and contains no harmful ingredients such as nanoparticles, stating that there has been no reliable evidence to suggest concentrations of nanoparticles found in sunscreen products could be harmful.
According to the latest information released by the Cancer Council Australia, 11,405 new cases of skin cancer where diagnosed in 2010. This translates to almost one in every ten cases of cancer was preventable skin cancer and was the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths in Australian men and tenth most common cause for women.