New campaign to combat our 'national cancer'

To mark the start of National Skin Cancer Action Week, the Australian Government has announced a multi-million-dollar skin cancer prevention campaign – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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To mark the start of National Skin Cancer Action Week, the Australian Government has announced a multi-million-dollar skin cancer prevention campaign – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide. 

Often called our ‘national cancer’, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. An estimated two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime.    

Delivered in partnership with the Cancer Council, the $10 million national campaign will highlight the importance of being SunSmart to drive down rates of the country’s most common, most costly and one of our most preventable cancers.   

It is particularly important that men get the SunSmart message: almost twice as many men as women will die from melanoma this year alone.   

Despite this, new research released today by the Cancer Council shows fewer than half (49%) of Aussie men actively seek shade to protect themselves from the sun during summer, and less than a third (29%) regularly use sunscreen.   

With over-exposure to UV radiation causing 95% of melanomas, Australians are reminded to use the five forms of sun protection whenever the UV level is three or above: Slip on sun-protective clothing, Slop on broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen, Slap on a broad brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on sunglasses.   

The new campaign will begin in December 2022.    

National Skin Cancer Action Week runs from Sunday 20 November to Saturday 26 November. For more information, visit Cancer Council’s website.   

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:    

“Sadly, skin cancer claims the lives of more than 2,000 Australians every year. Yet, there are easy steps we can take to protect ourselves from the sun and reduce our risk of skin cancer.   

“Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented by using all five forms of sun protection – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide. Australians will see these messages throughout this summer and next – at the cricket, on TV, on radio, online – to help remind them how to stay safe from our ‘national cancer’.   

“Sun protection saves lives, and we are working with our expert partners to save as many Australian lives as possible from this preventable disease.”   

Quotes attributable to Megan Varlow, Cancer Council Australia’s Director of Cancer Control Policy:    

“Our new research reinforces that Australians, particularly men, aren’t protecting themselves on a daily basis.   

“Not only does our research indicate that Australian men aren’t being safe in the sun, it also shows that almost half, often or always, spend time outside during peak UV hours throughout summer.   

“This tells us that more needs to be done to remind people of the easy steps they can take to reduce their risk of skin cancer every day.”    

Quotes attributable to John Clements, skin cancer survivor, resident of South Australia:   

“I grew up in a time where no one knew better. We’d run around on the beach with just our bathers on and would try to get a tan. My life, and that of my two brothers, would have been much better had we covered our skin up.    

“I was a bit blasé about my health back in the day, like a lot of blokes. Now, if I’m out in the sun at all, I make sure to protect myself.” 

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