New research: Over half of Victorians still like a tan, despite risks

Tuesday 5 November, 2013

New Cancer Council research shows that 54% of Victorians aged 13–34 still say they like to get a tan, and 30% intentionally attempted to tan last summer.

SunSmart Manager, Jen Makin, said: “The research shows that of those who like to get a tan, 39% planned to sunbathe, and 7% planned to use a solarium, with just 25% opting for the safer option of a fake tan. These are concerning behaviours showing that Victorians are still not heeding the SunSmart message"

As we enter the peak UV season in Victoria, SunSmart is advising Victorians to be sun savvy this summer and remember sun protection.

“With Spring Racing Carnival around the corner and lots of outdoor events coming up, we want to remind Victorians that it’s UV not heat that counts when it comes to skin cancer. Even in spring, when it’s cool and cloudy, it can take less than 20 minutes for skin damage to occur.”

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. 2,261 Victorians were diagnosed with melanoma and 399 Victorians died from skin cancer in 2012.

Twenty two year old Victorian, Nathan Holscher, was diagnosed with melanoma last year.

“It's frightening to be told at twenty one years of age that you have cancer and the worst part of it all is that melanoma is so preventable. We all know what to do to prevent it. It's just a matter of actually doing it. My experience was a real wake up call for me and my family and friends. We all check the sun protection times each day on the SunSmart app and there's a bottle of sunscreen by the door of my house.”

Ms Makin said: "Whether you are heading to the Spring Racing Carnival or just to a mate’s place, make sure you check the daily sun protection times on the free SunSmart app and protect your skin when the UV is at damaging levels. If your outfit must have a sun-kissed glow, try faking it, not baking it, but remember that sun protection is still required”.

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About the research:
Volkov A, Dunstone K. Summer 2012-13 online tracking survey results: Skin cancer prevention knowledge, attitudes and behaviours and summer campaign evaluation (unpublished). Cancer Council Victoria: Research Report for SunSmart. Melbourne, September 2013.

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