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Cricket legend backs skin cancer campaign

Lynette and Steve Waugh discussing their skin care needs with their local pharmacist.AUSTRALIAN cricket legend, Steve Waugh, AO is launching a sun awareness campaign this month urging people from NSW to check for unusual spots in the lead up to summer.
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Sun Awareness Clinics – Skin Cancer SpotChecks will be run at Blooms The Chemist pharmacies throughout NSW and Queesland up until December 12, aimed at increasing public awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and reinforcing the importance of early detection.

Inadvertently, National Skin Cancer Action Week coincides with the Sun Awareness Clinics, running from November 16 to November 22.

Between 95-99 per cent of skin cancers result from sun exposure, and while melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, it is the most dangerous.

The past decade has shown NSW-based men are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than NSW-based women. The most recent statistics reveal more than 3,700 melanoma diagnoses in NSW in the one year.

“If you’re not educated, you’re at risk of the dangers of skin cancer. Regular skin cancer spot-checks and awareness is vital,” Mr Waugh said.

He who lost his grandfather to melanoma and has personally sustained skin damage to his temples, back and shoulders and had some suspicious spots checked and some removed.

According to Waugh, an early detection tool is a good starting point to educating oneself and having a general overview of what to look out for regularly.

“It’s a great way to learn about what different spots look like and what the outcomes might be, so you’re better educated. But if you find something suspicious, you should seek prompt medical advice.”

Jay, 39 year old father of a four and six-year-old children, is a stage-three melanoma survivor and urges every Australian to have regular skin cancer spot-checks after one saved his life.

After a mole on Jay’s left ankle began to scab over and itch, he had it removed, along with 14 lymph nodes from his left groin and skin tissue from the lower part of his stomach.

“It’s easy to put things off, especially for men who tend to get on with things and delay health-checks – you must go and get checked,” said Jay.

“People respond very well to awareness clinics in a pharmacy setting and we’ve found they’re quite successful in educating the community,” Wayne McQuillan, pharmacist at Blooms The Chemist, Kiama said.

Blooms the Chemist Kiama will be holding a Sun awareness Clinic on Tuesday, December 2 from 10-3pm.

People can get involved with the event by booking a time on this day to receive aUV photo to take away – showing sun damage to facial areas and, consultation with a registered nurse.There is a $10 fee for this event, this small fee includes a free Skin Cancer SpotCheck Tool (RRP $19.95) and anEGO promotional size sunscreen.

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