If we all used sunscreen regularly, the number of melanomas diagnosed in Australia would be cut by over 28,000 by 2031, according to a study by Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of melanoma – between 63 per cent and 90 per cent of all cases. Last year, around 14,000 Australians were diagnosed with the disease.
The study looked at a number of scenarios, including mandatory sunscreen application for people aged 45-65 years, for all school-age children and if 100 per cent of the population used sunscreen at all times.
Interestingly, they found regular sunscreen use by us older Aussies would have the biggest impact on melanoma rates in the short-term as well as other types of skin cancer.
Why? As the generation that grew up before the sun smart campaigns of the 1980’s, we are more likely to be diagnosed.
So it’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen – even as you get older.