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  • Helping regional South Australians cut their skin cancer risk

    25 February 2019

    Cancer Council SA has joined forces with Country SA PHN to run a series of information sessions aimed at driving down the high skin cancer rate in regional South Australia.  

    Recent data shows regional South Australians have a higher chance of developing skin cancer. To help change this statistic, Cancer Council’s Community Education Team will be rolling out a skin cancer awareness roadshow across regional South Australia – activity that is being made possible by funding from Country SA PHN and with support from the Country SA PHN regional Local Health Clusters.

    The roadshow includes a series of information sessions, which will cover the importance of sun protection and how to check for early signs of skin cancer, and will kick off at the beginning of March in Cleve.

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size said the sessions are a vital first step in helping to change the high incidence of skin cancer in regional South Australia.

    “Skin cancer is caused by overexposure to UV radiation when the UV Index is 3 and above, which in South Australia is every month except for June and July,” he said.

    “Coastal and agricultural regions of South Australia have the highest incidence per capita of skin cancer in the state due to the outdoor nature of their work,  so it’s important that these communities are educated about how to check for signs of skin cancer and reminded about how to effectively protect their skin year round.”

    Country SA PHN CEO Kim Hosking said the roadshow was an important way to raise awareness around sun safety and skin cancer.

    “Another important focus of the roadshow will also be about encouraging behaviour change,” he said.

    “We also know that early detection is key – if people can recognise the signs early, they can seek treatment faster and, hopefully, have much better outcomes.”

    The first of the information sessions will be held on Monday 4 March from 6.00pm to 7.00pm at the Cleve District Bowling Club.

    The following night (Tuesday, 5 March) an information session will be held at the Ravendale Community Sports Centre in Port Lincoln from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. The sessions will cover:

    • the importance of checking UV levels before heading outside;
    • the difference between UV and temperature;
    • how to check for signs of skin cancer;
    • skin cancer screening and treatment; and
    • when to seek medical advice from your GP.

    All participants will be provided with a free skin cancer awareness pack which includes a skin cancer early detection tool and a number of resources, to assist them with skin self-checks.

    The roadshow dates are as follows:

    • Cleve: 4 March
    • Port Lincoln: 5 March
    • Port Pirie: 20 March
    • Renmark: 3 April
    • Naracoorte: 22 May
    • Tanunda: 5 June
    • Yorketown: 24 June
    • Kadina: 25 June

    You can register your interest online at cancersa.org.au/skincanceraware (NOTE: location details will provided closer to the event date). 

    For more information contact Cancer Council SA on 08 8291 4269 or email prevention@cancersa.org.au 

    This activity has been made possible by funding and support from Country SA PHN.

    - ends -

    Notes to Editor

    • One in four South Australians rely on temperature to determine when to protect their skin.
    • Skin cancer accounts for the largest number of cancers diagnosed in Australia each year.
    • In 2014, it was estimated that over 25,000 South Australians were diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer.
    • Sun exposure is responsible for 99% of all non-melanoma and 95% of melanoma skin cancers.
    • Cancer Council recommends sun protection whenever the UV is three and above. In South Australia, UV reaches 3 and above from the start of August to end of April.
    • Cancer Council research shows that even though almost 90 per cent of Australian adults don’t attempt a suntan over summer, over 60 per cent still report having suntanned skin over summer, indicating a need for improved sun protection practices.
    • To minimise skin damage, you should protect your skin in five ways when UV is 3 and above
    • Slip on some sun protective clothing
    • Slop on SPF 30, or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen
    • Slap on a shady hat that protects the head, face, ears and neck
    • Seek shade whenever possible
    • Slide on some wraparound sunglasses

    About Cancer Council SA
    Cancer Council SA is South Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Here in SA, every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer. With your help, we’re getting closer to a cancer free future every day. Find out more at www.cancersa.org.au.

    About Country SA PHN
    Country SA PHN is responsible for commissioning Commonwealth directed funding for primary health services throughout regional South Australia.  It is the health network set up to service the country regions of South Australia, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery while improving the coordination of patient care. Established by the Australian Government, we exist to bridge the gap of health inequity and access in rural South Australia by building a collaborative and responsive health care system. Country SA PHN covers 99.8% of the state geographically, incorporating approximately 30% of South Australia’s total population. For more information go to www.countrysaphn.com.au

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