Summer’s coming! Have a FREE on-campus skin cancer check and get a bonus sun safety pack
Did you know that skin cancer is our most common cancer? In Australia, two in three people will be diagnosed by the age of 70 and around 2000 die from the disease each year.
And it’s not just something that happens to older people or those with fair skin – Lana was only 25 when she was diagnosed with melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer).
So, while summer is many people’s favourite season, the fact that skin can burn in the Aussie sun in just 15 minutes means that any time spent outdoors can be as dangerous as it is enjoyable.
The good news is that skin cancer is largely preventable. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to have regular skin checks – and this National Skin Cancer Action Week we’re encouraging you to do just that!
Don’t miss this opportunity …
The Deakin Medical Centre (DMC) is running free and confidential 15-minute student skin cancer checks at our Burwood and Geelong Waterfront campuses in Week 6 (December 12–16). Offered in collaboration with our health and care partner Bupa, now’s the perfect time to get checked as we head into the summer uni shutdown – and you’ll save on any out-of-pocket costs you might incur elsewhere.
In this consultation, a specialist dermatoscopist will look over your moles, freckles and skin to inspect and identify anything that could be a risk to your health. This is a level 2 skin check, so you’ll be asked to disrobe (underwear left on) and place on a disposable gown. You’ll also receive a results card with a skin cancer risk assessment tool and additional sun safety information. If you require further medical attention, you’ll be given a detailed recommendation letter.
All students who have a skin check will also receive a bonus sun safety pack containing sunscreen, lip care, a sundictator (helps you to track your time in the sun), a skin cancer awareness card and a sun safety factsheet.
When: Wednesday 14 December, 10am to 3.45pm
Where: Level 1, Building LC, Elgar Road
When: Friday 16 December, 10am to 3.45pm
Where: Level 2 Building D (John Hay Building). While the DMC at Waurn Ponds is undergoing improvement works until February 2023, you can easily travel to Waterfront via the intercampus bus.
While skin checks are not available at the Warrnambool Campus, you can see our nurse for general advice about how to keep your skin healthy.
In between appointments, you should also be aware of your skin and any changing or new moles that appear. If you notice anything unusual, painful or different, see your doctor straight away.
Other ways to protect your skin
Monitor the UV Index, which tells you when you’re most at risk – usually in the middle of the day. A UV Index of 3 or above means you’re at risk of sun damage. You should also download the SunSmart app for information on when you need to wear sun protection, stay inside or in the shade.
Follow the five ‘s’‑words every day to keep your skin protected:
- Slip on sun-protective clothing: wear densely woven clothing that covers as much skin as possible – for example, shirts with long sleeves and high necks/collars. Wear swimmers made from materials such as lycra, which stays sun-protective when wet, and long-sleeved rash vests.
- Slop on sunscreen: use water-resistant SPF 50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen (this will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays). Apply at least 20 minutes before you go outside and reapply every two hours.
- Slap on a hat: a broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket-style hat provides good protection for the face, nose, neck and ears, which are common sites for skin cancers. Choose one made with closely woven fabric – if you can see through it, UV radiation will get through.
- Seek shade: use trees or built shade structures, or bring your own! Make sure it casts a dark shadow and use other protection (such as clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen) to avoid reflected UV radiation from nearby surfaces.
- Slide on some sunglasses: choose close-fitting wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067.
It also helps to know the facts. There’s plenty of myths about sun protection – such as the belief that you can’t develop skin cancer if you have olive skin or you won’t get burnt on a cloudy day. Educate yourself by visiting the Cancer Council website for a range of helpful information and resources on sun safety.