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Council Urges Public To Stay Sunsmart

Media Release 27 Feb 2008

NZ Cancer Control Council Urges Public to Stay Sunsmart

Summer is not over and the danger of skin cancer can not be underestimated, Chair of the New Zealand Cancer Control Council Dame Cath Tizard said today.

The focus in recent weeks on the efficacy of sun screens has concerned the council.

“While it appears that there are some issues around the exact level of protection offered by some sunscreens it is important to remember that applying sunscreen is only one of the things people need to do to protect themselves from skin cancer.”

Melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 25- 44, (17 deaths in 2004) and for women aged between 15- 24, (12 cases).

“It is also the most preventable of all skin cancers so it is important that the message gets through to younger age groups.

So parents have a duty to ensure children are not exposed unnecessarily to the sun during peak UV times.

“Allowing children to stay in the sun and not doing anything to prevent their skin from being burnt is tantamount to a parent giving their child a cigarette.”

“All New Zealanders need to overcome their complacency towards sunburn and get Sunsmart,” Dame Cath says.

“What people need to remember is that everyone needs to avoid peak UV times, wear longer sleeve shirts, tops, longer skirts and trousers when outdoors, wear broad rim hats, UV protective sunglasses, gloves when gardening / golfing etc and regularly apply and re-apply liberal (large) quantities of broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreens.

ENDS

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