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Too Much Sun Just Not Cricket - Warns Skin Cancer Expert

Media release : December 4, 2012

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Too Much Sun Just Not Cricket - Warns Skin Cancer Expert

One of New Zealand's leading melanoma experts will take its cancer warning onto the cricket pitch with the launch of a national education campaign aimed at sports-mad Kiwi men.

Previous research* has shown that New Zealand males shun sun safety messages and continue to be at the greatest risk of developing skin cancer with more than one in four (27%) saying they rarely or never use a sunscreen.

Auckland dermatologist Dr Mark Gray hopes to address this statistic with the launch of a mole mapping tent during the Masters Series Cricket.

Dr Gray says despite the prevalence of free mole map services, more than 70% of New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk of deadly melanomas by not getting their moles checked as regularly as they should.

"I find it difficult to understand that despite 20 years of sun education and free spot checking services people don't bother to get themselves checked. Kiwi men and women need to be more responsible for taking adequate care in the sun, especially when it kills more than 300 of us annually.

"We have identified that cricket lovers often fall into the high risk category for skin cancer; that is they are often older males and spend long periods of time in peak UV time periods without sun protection," says Dr Gray.

NZCPA Chief Executive Heath Mills reinforces that "the real benefit of a relationship with MoleMap is that our members, who have spent a large amount of time exposed to the harsh New Zealand sun, will become more aware of the benefit of early detection as the best form of defence against skin cancer"

"We look forward to helping more New Zealanders to understand the simple message that regular skin screening is an easy and effective protection from what is an aggressive, but preventable illness" says Mills.

A team of MoleMap melanographers plan to travel the length of the country pitching their tents at Master Series cricket games and offering free mole checks for players and spectators.

The nationwide tour will start in Nelson on 9 December and end 17 March in Rotorua.

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Notes to editors

*A 2007 study commissioned by the Skin Institute and conducted by Consumer Link (a division of Colmar Brunton) looked at Kiwis' sun protection habits during the warmer weather and the results have medical professionals concerned.

9 Dec 2012 MoleMap Masters v Nelson

Saxton Oval, Nelson

T20 match; starts 1.30pm

27 Jan 2013 MoleMap Masters v Otago Country

Molyneux Park, Alexandra

T20 match; starts 1.30pm

10 Feb 2013 MoleMap Masters v Poverty Bay

Harry Barker Reserve, Gisborne

T20 match; starts 1.30pm

24 Feb 2013 MoleMap Masters v Counties Manukau

Mountford Park, Manurewa

T20 match; starts 1.30pm

17 Mar 2013 MoleMap Masters v Northern Maori

Smallbone Park, Rotorua

T20 match; starts 1.30pm

ENDS

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