TAL SpotChecker highlights importance of raising awareness for early detection

Posted: 15 March 2018 8:12 am
News

Spotchecker at Bondi Beach

24% of all people checked were referred for further testing.

Over the summer life insurer TAL set-up its pop-up skin check clinic at iconic locations around Australia. The aim was to raise awareness about the importance of regular skin cancer checks. The results are out and Aussies could do a lot better when it comes to staying safe in the sun. Of those who had their skin checked, 24% were referred to skin cancer specialists for further testing.

“We’ve seen an alarming number of referrals come out of our TAL SpotChecker series, with almost 1 in 4 needing more tests, emphasising the need for further awareness of the importance of regular professional skin checks as well as self-checking in early detection of skin cancer," said TAL general manager for health services Dr Sally Phillips in a statement.

And it wasn't the Sunshine State that had the most referrals for further testing but South Australia.

“When comparing the referrals across each location, we found that the southern cities had the most referrals with Adelaide reporting the highest figure of 36%," Dr Pillips said.

Dr Phillips said it wasn't surprising that SA had the highest rate of referral.

"Part of the challenge that we have is the mistaken belief that only those who live in consistently warmer areas have to be mindful of skin cancer risk, when in fact it’s a national issue," she told finder.com.au.

LocationNumber of skin checksNumber of referralsPercent referred
Sydney3245115%
Gold Coast1894624%
Melbourne3388625%
Adelaide2318436%
Perth2485020%
TOTAL1,33031724%

Dr Phillips wants to remind Aussies that no matter where you live, you need to be sun safe.

"Australia as a nation has a high rate of skin cancer due to a number of things, for example, location, lifestyle and skin type to name a few. Australia is located near the Antarctic ozone hole, which is a severe thinning of the ozone layer each spring. This means more damaging UV rays come through the atmosphere, creating a high UV Index and causing harm to unprotected skin," Dr Phillips said.

Over the coming months, TAL will be joining forces with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and be providing skin checks to over 27,000 more Australians.

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