Despite the warnings Australians continue to contract skin cancer.
One Australian dies every five hours from Melanoma and another 14,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with the deadly form of cancer this year.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer affecting 15 to 39 year olds and incidence in the over 60s age bracket is also increasing.
So, if you’re not slipping on long-sleeved clothing, slopping on sunscreen and slapping on a hat, before going out in the sun – you need your head read.
A yearly visit to the nearest skin cancer clinic is also a must because if the warnings don’t scare you, then the words “we’ve found something” are guaranteed to chill you to the bone.
I know, as a melanoma survivor, they scared the crap out of me.
That was five years ago. Fortunately they got it early and two operations later, told me my chances of surviving the next 10 years were excellent – in the high 90 per cent.
Why me? Well, back when I was going to the beach as a teenager there was no such thing as 50+ sunscreen. In fact, there were no ratings for sunscreen at all and silly me used to lather up with coconut oil in the hope of going brown.
As if that was going to happen, with my fair anglo-saxon skin?
Anyway, it brings me to the news the Melanoma Institute Australia is the charity partner for this year’s Toyota Country Music Festival.
That means the $2 donation they charge for a hat will help raise vital funds for research into melanoma prevention and treatment.
Country music legend Lee Kernaghan is no stranger to the risks of the sun and the need to raise awareness and funds for melanoma research.
He is a passionate supporter of Melanoma Institute Australia and is using his profile to help educate fellow Australians about the need to be sun-smart and fund melanoma research.
Prevention is the key and all Australians are urged to wear SPF 50+ sunscreen and re-apply at least every two hours or after swimming or activity; cover up with a broad-brimmed hat, long pants and shirt and sunglasses; and seek shade in the heat of the day.
For those heading to Tamworth hats will be available daily at the Toyota Fanzone at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.