Slip, Slop, Slap with the help of an app this summer – smartphones may very well be the newest weapon in the fight against skin cancer, following the 2014 launch of an improved Cancer Council SunSmart app.
Cancer Council’s updated SunSmart app has already been downloaded more than 140,000 times this month, and as well as having new, improved features, the program is available on platforms including iPhones, iPads, Samsung and Android devices.
Studies* show that more than 72 per cent of Queenslanders aged 18-24 are sunburnt each year, compared to nearly 68 per cent of those aged 25-34 and nearly 65 per cent of those aged 35-54.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the revamped SunSmart app aimed to boost sun protective behaviours in young Australians.
“Young Aussies use apps to keep them on track with their health and fitness – we hope our SunSmart app can be used successfully in the same way,” Ms Clift said.
“Sunburn causes significant, irrepairable damage to skin cells and is linked to all skin cancers including melanoma – the most deadly form of the disease.
“Queenslanders may not realise sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes, even on cold and overcast days, and that sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning also damages the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer.
“Using an app to remind young people to take sun protective measures and to reapply sunscreen is an effective tool on a medium that young people are already using comfortably – their smartphones.
“Cancer Council’s revamped SunSmart app allows users to track UV levels in real time wherever they are in Australia, set reminders to be vigilant in UV peak periods and to reapply sunscreen, calculate how much sunscreen should be applied depending on size and outfit, track vitamin D and even access a seven-day weather forecast.
“This is an important reminder for all of us to stay SunSmart, and ensure we follow recommended sun protective behaviours all year round.”
Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Around 3,000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.
Around 99 per cent of all skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation.
Cancer Council recommends Queenslanders abide by all five sun protective measures – Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek share and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses when out and about.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.
You can download the free SunSmart App through the Apple Store, Samsung Apps and Google Play. For more information, visit www.sunsmart.com.au/tools/interactive-tools/free-sunsmart-app.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171