National Skin Cancer Action Week 19-25 November 2018

Ahead of this year’s National Skin Cancer Action Week, MMP clinicians and researchers descended on Brisbane for a joint meeting of the 9th World Congress of Melanoma and 14th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research – the world’s largest congress on melanoma with over 1500 delegates from 53 countries.
There was also an emphasis on patient experiences, with three consumer sessions, the Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) Patient Forum and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Global Coalition meeting.
MMP was strongly represented across the Congress programme, with 14 talks, 8 session chairs and 18 posters, and over 50 researchers, clinical staff and consumer representatives in attendance.
Melanoma research has boomed in recent years, with 40 papers on melanoma published in the top journal Nature in the past 12 months.
More than 2,000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year, and Cancer Council estimates that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer, with costs increasing substantially over the past few years.
Yet most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection.
To encourage Australians to remember to use the five forms of sun protection, Cancer Council Australia is inviting everyone to join the #SunSmartGeneration.
Today’s children have grown up with the SunSmart message and are our most sun savvy generation ever. Parents understand the importance of protecting their little one’s skin with rashies, hats, sunglasses, shade and sunscreen. However, it’s important that adults protect their own skin too. It’s never too late to prevent further damage and parents play an important role in setting a good example for their kids.
Australians of all ages are urged to use the five forms of sun protection. These are to:

  • slip on sun-protective clothing
  • slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
  • slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • seek shade
  • slide on sunglasses.

A combination of these measures, along with getting to know your skin and regularly checking for any changes, are the keys to reducing your skin cancer risk.