Glen Elmes says protect yourself and make sun safety a priority 

Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes was shocked to be diagnosed with a melanoma and have it removed last week.

Mr Elmes said ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun was responsible for 96 per cent of melanoma in Queensland.

‘‘Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and each year melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is diagnosed in more 3,000 Queenslanders and claims more than 365 lives,’’ he said.

Mr Elmes said it was important for people of all ages to make skin cancer prevention a priority.

‘‘I urge people not to become complacent, make sure they know their skin, personally check it regularly and have any new or changed lesions, freckles or moles checked by a doctor,’’ he said.

Mr Elmes said anyone could develop skin cancer.

‘‘Skin cancer doesn’t just affect people with fair skin, blue eyes and red hair, it also affects people from ethnic backgrounds who may have darker skin and here in Queensland you don’t need to be tanned or get sunburnt for skin damage to occur.

‘‘We are exposed to UV radiation any time we are outside and this unplanned sun exposure adds up over time.

‘‘Regardless of the season in Queensland, the UV Index is three or more every day of the year so we need to protect ourselves from the sun’s UV radiation.

‘‘Queenslanders should protect themselves in five ways each time they go out in the sun.’’

Mr Elmes said short-term and long-term damage can be prevented by:

  1. Seeking shade when possible
  2. Wearing sun safe clothing
  3. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat
  4. Wearing sunglasses to protect eyes
  5. Applying SPF 30+ or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapplying every two hours.

Mr Elmes said the majority of cases of skin cancer were preventable if the five sun protection methods were used routinely and consistently.

‘‘Take care of yourself and your skin because it could save your life.’’

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