The DEADLY FACTS:
§ Pathology laboratories report a significant drop-off in medical testing during COVID-19, including analysing tissue samples for cancer diagnoses.
§ A delay in diagnosis and treatment of a stage 1 melanoma by just one month (30 days) increases the risk of death by 5%. This rises to 41% if treatment is delayed by around four months (119 days)
§ The number of Australians diagnosed with melanoma will rise by an additional six people a day in 2025 (16,532 diagnoses predicted annually).
EXPERTS want ACTION:
§ Improve public awareness of melanoma risk factors
§ Reduce intentional tanning
§ Make skin self-examinations a monthly habit (every four weeks with a full moon)
HEALTH MESSAGES aren’t getting through:
§ Nearly two thirds of Australians (61%) believe having tanned skin is attractive.
§ Less than one in five (18%) always protect their skin from the sun even though 9 in 10 people (91%) recognise sun exposure causes health problems.
§ Young adults (15-19) take the biggest risks and use the least protection.
§ Only one in ten (11%) have their moles checked by a dermatologist each year and one in three (33%) say they check their own skin.
The ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming the Global Epidemic’ Report has been released for World Melanoma Month. People are being urged to check their skin monthly.