Melanoma rates drop for young Australians

Sun safety message appears to be sinking in for younger people.
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01.Sun-safe generation sees drop in melanoma rates

Young woman at beach applying sunscreen

New research from Queensland indicates the sun-safe messages of the past 20 years have worked, with a drop in melanoma rates among teenagers and young adults.

The study, conducted by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Cancer Council Queensland and published online in the International Journal of Cancer, found melanoma rates among 15- to 24-year-olds have dropped by an average of almost five per cent since the mid-1990s. The study's authors believe this provides further evidence that the sun-safe messages and practices are finally having a positive impact.

This study follows research published last month by QIMR Berghofer that found keratinocyte skin cancer rates – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – have also been dropping among young people across Australia.

While the research is good news, study leader Professor Adele Green says it's important to continue to be sun-safe from as early as possible. “The bottom line is that, despite this welcome trend, we must maintain our sun-safe messages, and children and young people need to keep being 'sun aware' because much of the long-term damage is sustained in our early years.”

The Cancer Council of Australia has more information on how to be sun-safe and prevent skin cancer. 



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