SKIN CANCER MYTHS
LEARN THE FACTS AND STAY SAFE
Think you can’t get burnt on a long car trip? Think again. Here’s seven common sun myths.
MYTH: Skin cancer affects only fair-skinned people
BUSTED: Skin cancer affects people with all skin types. Exposure to UV radiation can cause all skin types to be permanently damaged. Whilst skin cancer is less common in people with darker skin, it is often detected at a later, more dangerous stage. No matter your skin tone, care needs to be taken in the sun.
MYTH: I don’t have to worry too much about skin cancer because it can easily be cut out
BUSTED: More than 2000 Australians die from skin cancer each year. The statistics prove treating skin cancer isn’t as simple as having a lesion “burnt off”. Depending on the type, size, location and whether the cancer has spread or not, there are different ways to treat skin cancer. Get into the habit of checking your skin and your loved ones regularly for any new spots or changes to existing spots. If you notice anything suspicious, consult your GP immediately. Whilst early detection is key, prevention is always better than cure.
MYTH: You don’t have to worry about sun damage on a windy, cloudy or cool day
BUSTED: Ever had a red face after a cloudy day spent outside? This is very likely sunburn. UV radiation can penetrate through cloud cover and it can even be more intense due to the reflection off the clouds. Sun damage is caused by UV radiation, not temperature, meaning a cold, overcast day can have just the same amount of UV as a warm and sunny one. So, whatever the weather, make sure you protect your skin from harmful UV radiation.
MYTH: You need sun protection between 10am and 2pm only
Fact: The level of UVR can be high enough to damage skin from as early as 8am in Queensland. So, whether the sun has just risen or is about to set, ensure your skin is protected whenever there’s sunlight.
MYTH: I won’t get burnt if I have sunscreen on
BUSTED: Sunscreen is not a suit of armour. It does wear off and needs to be reapplied every two hours for maximum protection. Team it with protective clothing and a hat for the ultimate UVR armour.
MYTH: You’re protected from the sun in a car BUSTED:
You can get burnt through a car window. Tinted glass windows reduce, but do not completely block, UVR.
MYTH: Pets can’t get skin cancer
BUSTED: Both dogs and cats can develop skin cancer. The common forms of skin cancers found in humans such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinomas are also seen in our furry friends. If you find a lump or sore anywhere on your pet’s skin, see your vet as soon as possible.
Dogs and cats can get skin cancer too.