We’re rather slack on skin cancer check-ups
SOME Australians are still ignoring warnings to have their skin regularly checked by professionals, a survey has found.
The national survey of about 1500 Australians who bought sunscreen found about half – 48 per cent – had not had their skin checked by a medical practitioner in the past five years.
Generation Y were the worst offenders with 64 per cent failing to get their skin checked for abnormalities in the past five years, the survey by consumer researchers Canstar Blue found.
However, about 40 per cent had been to a doctor in the past year for a skin check-up.
Fifty-eight per cent of survey respondents performed their own skin checks once a month and baby boomers were the most vigilant, with about 66 per cent of people in this age group regularly checking their own skin.
Meanwhile, about one in five respondents ignored the slip, slop, slap message and had been sunburnt severely in the past year.
Cancer Council Australia’s Skin Cancer Committee chair, Terry Slevin, says that how often people should visit their doctor for skin checks depends on their skin type, skin cancer risk and history, and sun exposure in childhood.
He says some people would need to be checked more than once a year.
According to the Cancer Council, men are the least likely to be vigilant about their skin.
“All our data tells us that the main culprits who aren’t doing the right thing when it comes to early detection of skin cancer is blokes,” says Mr Slevin.
He says people should have a discussion with their GP about how regularly they should get checked.
About 1800 people die from skin cancer in Australia every year, Mr Slevin says.
The survey results were drawn from 1443 people who had bought sunscreen in the past six months, based on market research commissioned by Canstar Blue, which tracks consumer satisfaction.