ARE YOU DOING THE FIVE S’S?

MORE than 2000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year.

The financial cost is also huge with Australia spending more than $1 billion a year on treatment.

Rachel is one of those sensible people who was pretty good at applying sunscreen, but was still diagnosed with a melanoma.

Every year at Christmas she went for six-week camping holidays with her family and “lived on the beach”.

“We would always put on suncream, but we probably weren’t awesome at re-applying…and putting on hats and shirts,” she said.

After noticing a new mole on her ankle she went to the doctor, who diagnosed a melanoma that had to be cut out.

• Rachel had a close call with skin cancer.

Mole check

The procedure was successful and now Rachel gets her skin checked every six months by a dermatologist.

“Kids learn best from watching the adults around them, so I’m being super aware of wearing a hat and putting on suncream in front of my daughter Lilly.

“We make it a joint activity, and go to parks where there’s shade and we try and cover as much of our skin as we can.”

With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, skin cancer week (November 17-23) is a good time to book a mole check and make sure your are doing enough to protect your body from the sun.

The good news is that most skin cancers can be prevented by doing the Cancer Council’s five S’s:

• 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

For more information on skin cancer go to http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/about-skin-cancer.html

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