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Australian Skin Cancer


suffer the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Each year, around 1,200
Australians die from what is an almost totally preventable disease. Everyone can
develop skin cancer; however, some people may be at higher risk than others, due
to a range of factors.

Australia exposed to more UV
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels in Australia are higher than in Europe, even
during summer. Being located close to the ozone hole over the Antarctic means
much higher, more severe levels of UV radiation get through to ground level.

During summer, the earth’s orbit brings Australia closer to the sun than Europe
during its summer, resulting in an additional seven per cent solar UV intensity.
This, coupled with our clearer atmospheric conditions, means Australians
are exposed to up to 15 per cent more UV than Europeans.


First launched by a cartoon seagull
singing ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ on  TV screens in 1980, 

SunSmart adopted its name and mission in
1988. An initiative of The Cancer Council Victoria and supported by the
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, SunSmart was developed to combat
spiralling skin cancer incidence and mortality rates.

Since then, attitudes towards tanning and
sun protection have changed dramatically. Australians have realised the pitfalls
of their sun-loving, outdoor lifestyle and are taking preventative measures to
reduce their risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Research by The Cancer Council
Victoria shows SunSmart’s messages have reached a majority of Australians and
had a stong impact on their behaviour.

Consequently, skin cancer deaths have
slowed and for females, have even started to decline. More Australians are
detecting skin cancers early, increasing their chances of surviving the disease.