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Skin cancer prevention in Australia

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest
    The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Craig Sinclair.
E-mail:Craig.Sinclair@cancervic.org.au

Summary

Australia has one of the highest skin cancer incidence and mortality rates in the world. The reason for these high rates is due in part to the high ambient UV radiation levels, combined with a predominantly susceptible fair-skinned population. To address this problem, since 1980 Australians have been exposed to social marketing campaigns to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention. These campaigns have used mass media alongside interventions in schools, workplaces, and in community and leisure settings to motivate sun protective behaviour. As a result of these interventions it can be demonstrated that social marketing campaigns can be a very effective method to not only motivate behaviour change, reduce sunburn, and increase awareness but more importantly, reduce melanoma rates and bring positive economic returns to government. However long term investment in this area is required otherwise any population gains in behaviour are very likely to be quickly eroded.

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