STAY SUN SAFE: Queenslanders are being urged to stay smart this summer, especially when it comes to protection from the sun.
STAY SUN SAFE: Queenslanders are being urged to stay smart this summer, especially when it comes to protection from the sun.

Stay sun smart, check your skin

ANYONE can be at risk of developing skin cancer, so it is important all Queenslanders remain vigilant by going for regular skin assessments and checking their skin at home.

The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and the most serious form, melanoma.

Melanoma is now the most common form of cancer in Queensland, with 3960 being diagnosed with the disease annually.

Queenslanders must have a strong understanding on how to best identify possible skin irregularities, so cancers can be identified by health professionals as early as possible.

Early detection of skin cancers is key to increased survival rates.

When Queenslanders create a habit of checking their skin regularly, they will form a good understanding on the look and feel of their skin which will help changes become more noticeable.

When checking skin at home, ensure you look at all areas of the skin thoroughly in a room with good lighting.

Skin cancers can appear anywhere on the body, even areas that aren't regularly exposed to the sun, so ask a loved one to check hard to reach areas.

Keep an eye out for new skin spots and spots that are changing, such as an increase in size, change colour, itching, bleeding, tingling, or a spot that becomes scaly or ulcerated.

If Queenslanders have any concerns or notice a change in their skin, they are encouraged to consult a health professional immediately.

Queenslanders also need to be taking preventable measures to ensure their risk of developing skin cancer is greatly reduced.

Skin cancer is currently one of the most preventable forms of cancer, with 95 - 99% of all skin cancers caused by overexposure to UV radiation.

Cancer Council Queensland recommends individuals abide by all five sun protective recommendations all year round - Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broadbrimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wraparound sunnies.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said Queenslanders need to be vigilant and act when they notice any unusual changes with their skin.

"Queenslanders need to get to know their own skin and see a GP straight away if anything changes," said Ms McMillan.

"It's imperative that people are aware of their individual risks too - particularly for those with fair skin types, which burns more easily, and anyone with a family history of skin cancer.

"Being SunSmart also means regular skin checks and helping family members and friends to spot check in hard to see places, such as on the scalp or parts of the back."

More information on skin cancer can be found by visiting or calling our friendly team on 13 11 20 for information and support.