18 June 2013
SKIN CHECKS SAVE LIVES-
MP GIVES FIRST HAND ACCOUNT
Julie Owens, Federal Member for Parramatta, spoke today from personal experience about the importance of having a skin cancer check with your local GP or clinic now.
Ms Owens was speaking from Parliament House in Canberra, taking part in the Annual Pollie Skin Check for Members of Parliament.
“I just did mine today and I do it regularly and so should you,” Ms Owens said.
“Having a skin cancer check saved my life.
“In 2007 I asked my GP about a spot on my wrist. It turned out to be a melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
“It was frightening to find out that this little mole could kill me,” she said.
“Luckily, we caught it in the early stages before it spread.”
Ms Owens said that she was especially concerned given that each year, more than 1,500 Australians die from melanoma and more than 12,500 new cases are diagnosed.
“Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia and the number of cases is rising.
“Combined with other forms of skin cancer, there is more need than ever before to take precautions in the sun and get your skin checked regularly,” she said.
Ms Owens said people with fair skin need to be particularly careful.
Protect yourself in five ways from skin cancer:
1. Seek shade
2. Wear sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible
3. Put on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears
4. Wear wrap-around sunglasses
5. Apply SPF50+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen liberally to clean, dry skin, at least 20 minutes before being exposed to the sun, and reapply at least every two hours when outdoors