There are so many things in life to be grateful for and, as Australians, one of those things is our weather.
In an island nation of sun and sea, the ability to enjoy an active outdoors lifestyle is a definite positive. But, to ensure that your life is lived to the full, protecting yourself from the potentially harmful elements of all that sunshine is vitally important.
This month’s Melanoma March is a timely reminder to take care of your health and wellbeing. Melanoma March is a fundraising and awareness initiative of the Melanoma Institute of Australia (MIA) – encouraging people to donate, or buy a digital footprint message to send words of hope, encouragement and support for other Australians, to leave your footprint on much-needed melanoma research that will change and save lives in the future.
Protecting Your Skin Is As Easy As 1, 2, 3…
But whether or not you do donate, Melanoma March is also about sharing the good news that there are three simple steps you can take to help prevent melanoma and help your precious skin stay safe.
- Protect your skin from the sun
By covering up with sun-mart clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears and neck, is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin from potential sun damage. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly to other exposed parts of your body adds another important layer of protection to help you enjoy your outdoor activities safely.
- Check your skin for melanoma
Examining your own skin is a positive preventative against melanoma. By noticing any changes in your skin, including new freckles, moles or lesions – or changes to existing spots on your face and body – you can take quick action for follow-up medical checks and treatment.
- Have a professional skin check
Casting your own eyes over your skin is a critical step in the fight against melanoma but for added peace of mind, having an annual skin check by an experienced medical professional adds another level of protection to your skin. Talk to your GP about a referral to a skin specialist and make a regular full-body check-up part of your healthy routine.
Live Your Active Life Safely
We’re so excited that Lifestyle Communities’ own Autumn Inter-Community Sport Carnival is rolling out with Lawn Bowls home and away games starting at the end of March. This great competition is the ideal motivation to implement your own personal sun-protection strategy in sensible, safe style.
- Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world.
- In 2019, Australians experienced more than 15,000 diagnoses of melanoma of the skin – close to one new diagnosis every 30 minutes.
- Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australian men, after prostate and colorectal cancer.
- Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australian women, after breast and colorectal cancer.
Research is making a difference
In a recent MIA-led trial, researchers have made a major breakthrough by tripling the life expectancy for some advanced melanoma patients. These treatments include targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Radiotherapy can also reduce recurrence rates. For many others, though, further research is critical to find effective treatment options that deliver the best possible recovery outcomes.
With Melanoma March aiming to educate and enlighten all of us about smarter ways to reduce the risk of melanoma, our Lifestyle Communities’ team wish everyone a healthy, happy month ahead.
For more information about Melanoma March, visit: https://melanomamarch.org.au/