BackgroundAustralia has the world's highest skin cancer incidence rates1.
Despite the evidence linking sun exposure to skin cancers, research shows that many Australians, particularly young people, are complacent about sun protection measures. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Australia. Australians are four times more likely to develop a skin cancer than any other form of cancer2.
Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 703.
Prevention remains the single most effective way to save lives. Given the high incidence and the personal and economic costs associated with skin cancers (especially melanoma), a strong emphasis on prevention is needed to reduce unnecessary exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Who is the campaign for?The 2009-10 National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign is targeting teenagers aged 14-17 years as research has shown that one in four young Australians are still getting sunburnt each weekend in summer, and cumulative exposure to ultra violet radiation over your lifetime and episodes of sunburn increase the risk of skin cancer.
What is the campaign's aim?The campaign aims to educate Australian teenagers aged 14-17 years about the seriousness of, and their susceptibility to, skin cancer and increase the adoption and awareness of the five key sun protection behaviours:
- Seek shade
- Wear sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible
- Put on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses
- Apply SPF30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen every two hours.
Developmental ResearchA research project conducted in January 2006 using qualitative research informed the development of the National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign.
Developmental Research for National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign
The research was conducted with adolescents, young adults, parents and adults aged 50 years and over, and people who have had a skin cancer removed. The research explored knowledge, attitudes, awareness and understanding of sun protection and early detection of skin cancer.
2009-10Evaluation of the summer 2009-10 campaign was conducted through surveys with the target audience during February 2010.
Evaluation of National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign - third phase (2009-2010)
Evaluation of National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign: Technical report
2008-09Evaluation of the summer 2008-09 campaign was conducted through surveys with the target audience during February 2009.
Evaluation of National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign 2008-2009
2007-08Evaluation of the summer 2007-08 campaign was conducted through surveys with the target audience during November 2007 and February 2008.
Evaluation of National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign 2007-2008
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australasian Association of Cancer Registries (2008). Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2008. AIHW cat. no. CAN 32. Canberra, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
3 Staples M., et. al. (2006). Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia: the 2002 national survey and trends since 1985. Medical Journal of Australia 2006; 184: 6-10.