Cancer Council has issued an urgent warning for Queenslanders under 35, with the latest figures showing melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young Queenslanders.
Recent statistics from the Queensland Cancer Registry show around 110 melanomas are diagnosed in males aged under 35 each year, followed by 80 cases of testicular cancer.
Around 140 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in Queensland females under age 35, with thyroid the second most common cancer diagnosed, affecting more than 60 females each year.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift says the figures reinforced an urgent warning for young Queenslanders to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
“Melanoma remains within the top four most commonly diagnosed cancers for all Queenslanders at all stages of life,” she says.
“It is concerning to see so many cases diagnosed in those under 35 – a diagnosis of melanoma at such a young age can be particularly distressing.
Katie says sun exposure in childhood influences the risk of skin cancer later in life.
“It’s vital for parents to protect young children from harmful UV rays as much as possible,” she says.
“Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when out and about this summer to best reduce your risk of skin cancer.”
Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Around 3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.
Cancer Council is urging young Queenslanders to get to know their skin, and book in for a GP visit if they notice anything change.
“Get to know your own skin and conduct regular self-checks. If you notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size – visit your GP immediately,” Katie says.
“Some changes to look for in the skin include new moles, moles that increases in size, an outline of a mole that becomes notched, moles that itch or tingle or spots that look different from the others.”
Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland sun protection is required through every season.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.