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Don’t Fry Day


28th May 2021


In 2008 the US National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention dedicated one day a year to raising awareness about melanoma prevention. This Friday the 28th of May is “Don’t Fry Day”.

 

While the incentive was started in the USA, it is an even more important message here in Australia, where our incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, up to three times the rates suffered by countries like the US, UK, and Canada!

 

While melanoma is the most dangerous of the common skin cancers, it is just one of several varieties that we manage on a daily basis at SRMG, with all of the common skin cancers making up about 80% of new cancer diagnosis in Australia.

 

Majority of these nasties are caused by UV damage from the sun, and excessive sun exposure – including sunburns of all descriptions – is particularly dangerous in the childhood, teens, and early adult years. A few bad sunburns at a young age can massively increase a person’s incidence of skin cancers in the future.

 

Evidence for the best way to detect melanoma is still evolving. We suggest skin checks at regular intervals for those with higher risks, including a strong family history, immune suppression, previous skin cancers, and having a high number of dark “moles” or naevi on the skin.

 

While there is not much evidence to suggest every person with a lower risk have routine skin checks from a young age, awareness of the risks and one’s own body is key. In fact, the take home message for No Fry Day is exactly this:

 

Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.

Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.

Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.

Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

 

 

If you have any questionable skin spots, would like to discuss your risks, or would like to book a skin check, contact your friendly neighbourhood SRMG doctor – we are here to help.

 

 

This article has been written by Dr Jared Coyne


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