There’s been a lot of buzz lately in the political news with Australia, but in the dermatology realm, Australia is an inspiration in how they promote skin cancer awareness and prevention!
There’s no doubt: the sun is strong in the “Land Down Under” and in fact it’s summer there right now. The country has one of the highest rates of skin cancer. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
On a recent visit to the beautiful country, I was impressed by the many public service ads, particularly ones I saw in Sydney.
This kiosk ad is educational and informative:
At the famous Bondi Beach, tucked among the wild and graphic murals, there were multiple artsy images promoting sun safety.
The Aussies are famous for their catchy slogan “Slip, Slop, Slap”
Slip on a shirt
Slop on sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Later on, the words Seek and Slide were added to the slogan to represent:
Slide on sunglasses (especially wrap around sunnies)
While the slogan became one of Australia’s most successful health campaigns, the words can certainly be applied to our sun-protection practices here in the U.S. where we have our own skin cancer epidemic. According to the American Academy of Dermatology,
- Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- It is estimated that more than 8,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
While we ride out winter here in Nashville, some of us may be headed for sunny vacation destinations, or mentally preparing for Spring Break next month. It would do us well to take a tip from our Australian friends. They know a thing or two about withstanding the sun and the importance of preventing skin cancer.
By: Dr. Jennifer Lee
To learn more about skin cancer, click here.
To learn more about sunscreens, click here for Dr. Lee’s article featured in Williamson Source.