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Baby Boomers At High Risk of Melanoma

Posted by National Skin Cancer Centres on Apr 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM

When Australia's Baby Boomer generation were youngsters, there were no advertising blitzes or PR campaigns warning against the deadly risks associated with sun exposure. Brown tans and sunburns were commonplace after long afternoons at the beach or in the backyard.

It is only now, 30, 40 or even 50 years later, that their time in the sun is catching up with them. The sun's ultraviolet radiation permanently damages skin cells, leaving the cells susceptible to early signs of ageing (like wrinkles and age spots) and skin cancer.

As younger generations benefit from the slip, slop, slap message, our Baby Boomers have been found to be most at risk of melanoma.

Around 2,000 Australians die every year from melanoma, and thousands more are diagnosed early enough for treatment to be successful.

Men are at higher risk than women, and there a variety of other factors influencing a person's chances of developing skin cancer. Find out if you're at risk.

Melanoma costs our health system over $200 million a year, and all skin cancers combined cost around $500 million a year - the biggest hit to our economy of all cancers.

Melanoma rates are stabilising or falling among Australians aged under 60, thanks to two decades of slip, slop, slap campaigns. But people aged 60 and over who did not grow up with prevention campaigns continue to experience higher rates of melanoma.

Melanomas that result from sun exposure can appear many years after the damage is done. It is vital that everyone gets their skin checked regularly, especially older Australians.

It is also important to know your own skin and to see a doctor immediately if you notice a new spot or a change in the shape, colour or size of a lesion. Learn how to recognise a melanoma.

 

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Topics: Risks