New research reveals majority of Australians aren’t taking their own advice about skin safety, leaving millions at risk of cancer
Elliot (25) noticed a skin colored pimple on the tip of his nose and didn’t seem too bothered by it. However, after bumping his nose in the shower, the tiny scab would not heal and after a few months Elliot was encouraged by his partner Sammie to go to the GP to have it checked out, a month later Elliot had a BCC cut off his nose.
“When I was young, I was already very conscious about being sun safe, my whole life evolved around the pool and I trained under the sun for over 15 years. I was extremely mindful and aware that I was fair skinned and that I had an increase risk of skin cancer, so I was always sun safe and (re-) applying my sunscreen. At the age of 16 we were given one skin check at the pool and I never had one since.
New research from TAL, a leading Australian life insurance specialist, has revealed that more than half (56%) of Australians consider themselves sun smart, yet 87% have not had a skin check in the past 12 months, with 28% never having had one at all.
Elliot says “it doesn’t surprise me that 1 in 3 haven’t been checked, if it hadn’t been for Sammie, I would have never of gone to the doctor. It took me longer than it should have but I would never have happened without Sammie. I think there is that male mentality of never going to a doctor.”
Skin cancer is one of Australia’s most common cancers, with 2 in 3 Australians set to be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70[i] and almost 8 in 10 (77%) admitting they could do more to protect themselves from the sun when outdoors.
The research also reveals that, as a nation, Australians are not taking their own advice when it comes to skin safety, leaving millions at risk of skin cancer as a result of not getting regular skin checks.
Despite 41% of Australians surveyed saying they would always urge their children to wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors, only 19% take their own advice and regularly wear sunscreen themselves. In addition to being more sun safe and taking preventative measures, such as wearing sunscreen, it is just as important for people to engage with regular skin checks to help detect skin cancer.
According to TAL General Manager of Health Services, Dr Sally Phillips, the belief that skin cancer only happens to others is a main barrier to Australians taking preventative action.
“As one of the most easily detectable and preventable cancers, it’s so important that professional skin checks and self-checking become an integral part of everyone’s health routine.
To encourage more Australians to get regular skin checks and educate them around the importance of skin safety, TAL is launching TAL SpotChecker for the fourth year in a row, providing free skin checks at some of Australia’s most iconic beaches over the summer.
You can find lot more great info from TAL about spot checks by clicking this link.