Be UV aware and help turn the tide on skin cancer

Be UV aware and help turn the tide on skin cancer
Be UV aware and help turn the tide on skin cancer

A $10 million national awareness campaign will hit iconic Australian beaches this summer to remind Australians to be UV aware and stay safe in the sun in 2022. The campaign is part of a $20 million Australian Government investment over the next two years in skin cancer awareness activities.

“Australia has long been known as the sunburnt country, we love getting outside and enjoying long summer days, particularly after the challenges of the past two years,” the Prime Minister said.

“But it’s important that we protect ourselves against the dangers of sun and that we all know exactly how to guard ourselves against skin cancer, with Australia having one of the highest rates of melanoma cancer in the world.

“The good news is skin cancer is avoidable. The new awareness campaign reminds Australians of how they can be UV aware and what simple actions they can take to protect against sunburn and skin cancer this summer.”

The Australian Government has engaged the experts at Cancer Council Australia to create a national campaign that follows the renowned Sid from the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign of the 1980s.

Jimmy and his faithful side kick Fido will hit screens across the country and appear at awareness raising events from Bondi to Cottesloe to remind Aussies to check the UV index and be SunSmart this summer.

The campaign is designed to educate people that when it comes to skin cancer protection, it’s ultraviolent radiation (UV) – not heat – that people need to be aware of.

The campaign will be on free-to-air TV, digital and social media, outdoor advertising, and radio stations across Australia. It will be backed by events in every State and the Northern Territory, where people can pick up free sunscreen, Cancer Council hats, play games, and grab some shade under a Cancer Council cabana.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said skin cancer is estimated to cause more than 1,315 deaths in Australia in 2021, a figure that is far too high.

“While we need to protect ourselves through vaccination from COVID-19, we also need to protect our skin from melanoma,” Minister Hunt said.

“This summer, make sure you cover up with a hat, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen and sunglasses. This is the best way to protect yourself against melanoma.”

While melanoma risk increases with age, people under 30, and even teenagers, can develop this cancer and die. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, melanoma is estimated to be the most diagnosed cancer among 20 to 39-year-olds in 2021.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Dr Tanya Buchanan welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to preventing skin cancer and the campaign ahead.

“Skin cancer is Australia’s most common, most costly cancer, and it is almost entirely preventable.

“In Australia this year, there will be more than a million treatments for skin cancer, and it is estimated nearly 17,000 Australians will be diagnosed with the deadliest form of the disease, melanoma. That’s why it’s critical that we continue to fund and promote ongoing public awareness campaigns about being SunSmart.

“The message is simple, whenever the UV index is 3 or above, remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

“Raising awareness of SunSmart behaviours is critical both this year, and in the years to come to reduce incidence and save lives from skin cancer. Cancer Council welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to preventing skin cancer and looks forward to a summer of sun safety.”

Cancer Council Australia will deliver this campaign on behalf of the Australian Government. The Cancer Council is a household name, trusted by generations of Australians to provide the best advice and support to prevent, treat and better detect cancer.

December 21, 2021