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Preventing Melanoma: Calling on Influencers to Promote Sun Safety | SBS News

Gina Savage knows better than anyone how dangerous the sun can be.
After two years of aggressive treatment after being diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma at just 20, she was confident she was completely cured of her cancer.

Instead, she received life-changing news that it had spread to other parts of her body.

“I have been on these treatments for six years and have not been able to find one that works for me.
“I don’t know what my future holds”
Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, with one melanoma diagnosed every 30 minutes and one death every six hours.

It is also the most common cancer occurring between the ages of 20 and 39.

Savage said social media influencers play a key role in promoting sun safety among young followers.
“We are now growing up in an era where a golden tan is the most beautiful idea for a young person,” she told SBS News.

“I think we need to get over those young kids and promote tanning oils and get influencers involved in the process as opposed to having people in the sun all day … it’s probably It’s like the way we should bow our heads…”

Youth need better prevention education

This is a call endorsed by the Melanoma Institute of Australia (MIA), which wants the federal government to commit to a long-term, modernized prevention campaign relevant to children and adolescents.
MIA co-medical director Professor Georgia Long said current tactics are clearly not working given that “nothing has changed in the last 40 years when it comes to youth and sun safety behaviour.” .
“Social media feeds are full of tanned bodies. In fact, the deeper the tan, the better. Their collective voices were loud and we virtually sat on the sidelines in silence,” she said Wednesday. told the National Press Club.

“There is an urgent need to strengthen sun safety as a message of cancer prevention and the public health coverage it deserves.”

Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer are co-medical directors of Melanoma Institute Australia. sauce: AAP / lucas cook

Another MIA co-medical director, Professor Richard Scolyer, said the normalization of tanning and tanning, especially among social media influencers, is a big part of the problem.

“We need to strengthen your influence and use it for good by helping change the national narrative about tanning and tanning,” he told the National Press Club.
Professor Long said warning about tanning oils could also help save lives.

“It’s like cigarettes,” she said.

Calling the Sun to Mandate Safe Practices

In 2007, Annette St Clair’s 20-year-old daughter, Amie, found a lump in her groin.
“GP thought it was a hematoma at first because she’s a very aggressive sports girl in the sun,” she told SBS News.

“But the lump got bigger over the next few days, and she saw another GP, had an ultrasound and a biopsy, and it came back as a melanoma.”

Amie was fine for a few months after receiving treatment, but the lump returned.
“It spread to her brain, ovaries, pancreas and other major organs,” St Clair said.

“Sadly, the day after her 23rd birthday, she died of melanoma.”

St Clair said “simple things” like requiring shade on all playgrounds could help prevent Amie’s cancer.
“I’m looking at the local softball field. Sure there are some trees, but not enough trees. And there aren’t enough portable shades to put up,” she said.
According to St. Clair, making sun-safe uniforms and installing sunscreen machines in local pools and playgrounds would also help.
“I know we need a lot of money, but in the long run, if we can prevent other young people from dying from melanoma, I think the government will save a lot of money.” she said.

“Not only that, but it will save people a lot of heartbreak.”

Preventing Melanoma: Calling on Influencers to Promote Sun Safety | SBS News

Source link Preventing Melanoma: Calling on Influencers to Promote Sun Safety | SBS News

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