Lifestyle07 February 2020

Simple changes can help reduce your risk

Cancer Council
Cancer Council

As we move through our busy lives, we often take the time to invest in our financial wellbeing. But what about our physical health, the most important asset we hold.

A third of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, being SunSmart and getting checked.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with at least two in three people being diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. The majority of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun.

Cancer Council Tasmania recommends that you protect your greatest asset by wearing sun protection when the UV is 3 and above. In Tasmania, this is from the beginning of September through to the end of April. This includes seeking shade from the sun and wearing sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, SPF30+ or higher sunscreen and a hat to protect your face, neck and ears.

Early detection of any cancer increases your chances of successful treatment. It’s important to get to know and regularly check your skin and know what’s normal for you so that changes will be quickly noticed. It’s crucial to check all of your skin, not just sun-exposed areas.

Skin cancer is often visible, but rarely painful, making it easier to detect in the early stages. Don't just rely on an annual skin check to detect any suspicious spots. Self-check regularly.

Changes to look for include any change in shape, size or colour of a spot, or the development of a new spot.

To check your body

  1. Undress and stand in a spot with good light
  2. Check all your skin
  3. Use a large mirror and a hand held mirror to see your back, legs and scalp
  4. Don’t forget to check armpits, inner legs, ears, eyelids, hands and feet
  5. Use a comb to inspect your scalp
  6. Ask a family member or friend to check any areas you think you might have missed.

If you notice any changes in your skin, make an appointment to visit your doctor.

Your health is a long-term investment. Reduce your risk of cancer, take care of your health and get to know your body so you can detect any signs or symptoms early.

Where to go for help

For more information, contact Cancer Council Tasmania on 1300 656 585, visit cancertas.org.au or, to sign up to the Cancer Council newsletter, either call or sign up online (scroll to bottom of page).

View the Find Cancer Early campaign video.

See the Find Cancer Early checklist.

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