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Don Clarke’s Melanoma Message Timely

29 August 2001

Don Clarke’s Melanoma Message Timely

Rugby legend Don Clarke’s message to New Zealanders about covering up against the sun is a timely one, says Cancer Society Health Promotion Programme Manager Liz Price. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.

“As we head into another summer, it is really important that people cover up against the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing such as a shirt, and sunglasses. Sunscreen should also be worn, and reapplied regularly.

“Don believes he developed melanoma as a result of excessive sun exposure. He is generously sharing his story in the hope that others will take steps to reduce their risk.”

The highest rates of melanoma occur where fair skinned people have been sunburned as a child, and/or have a lifestyle that involves sunbathing, sunburn and outdoor activity.

Liz Price says that while it is particularly important for children to be protected from the sun, protection at any age reduces your risk of developing melanoma.

“If people protect their skin and avoid sunburn, particularly up to the age of about 20, most melanomas can be prevented. However sun damage is cumulative, so it’s still important for adults to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’.

Melanoma can develop on any part of the body. Early signs to look for are a spot that looks like an unusual freckle and that changes in size, colour and shape over weeks or months. Anyone who is concerned about skin changes should see their GP.


For further information contact: Liz Price
Cancer Society Health Promotion Programme Manager
Phone: 04 494 7274, Cellphone: 025 579 357

Note Editors: Don Clarke Media Briefing
Don Clarke thought developing cancer could never happen to him - until he
had to have two melanomas removed from his head. Don talks about his battle
with melanoma, and his prevention message to New Zealanders "Whatever you
do, don't get sunburnt".

Check out tomorrow morning, Friday, August 30, at 10am to see Don Clarke
talking about his melanoma:
* how he discovered it
* what caused it
* what has happened
* the treatment
* the outcome
* how he feels now.

© Scoop Media

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