Growing up on the beaches of Australia, one of our primary concerns was covering up from the sun. Consequently, my father worked as a surf lifesaver. Starting from a very young age, I was one of the first on the beach and one of the last ones off. Every morning I was ready with my boggy board and wet suit! Growing up in the water and sun every day takes some toll, as most of our European skins cells are not strong enough for the Australian UV radiation the most common cancer in Australia is known as melanoma, skin cancer.
One of the most successful health campaigns in Australia launched in 1981; Sid, a cheerful seagull, danced away, singing the jingle’ Slip, Slop, Slap!
‘Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip-on, a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat Slip, Slop, Slap! You can stop skin cancer – say: ‘Slip, Slop, Slap!’ (Cancer Council Victoria, 2019)
It was successful as it encouraged children to wear protective clothing when playing out in the sun and lead to other victorious sun-safe campaigns around Australia. These campaigns have created positive changes and attitudes over time with melanoma, skin cancer survival rates in young people fell 5% since the early 90s, 25% in the late ’90s and another 14% by 2010 with research leaders saying safety messages were having a positive effect.
“It has been one of the most successful cancer prevention campaigns” Young people exposed to safe sun messages and early detection programs since birth shows the improvements are broader the just adolescents and young adults in melanoma studies says research Prof Adele Green.
Conclusions: Educating children at an early age is essential. Case studies show that high levels of sunlight exposure during younger age periods have a strong determinant of melanoma risk. With increasing, awareness and education a significant rise of survival and early detection in skin cancers, Australia survival rates are generally gettering higher.
Clifford Fram 2014, Melanoma falls among sun smart generation, viewed online 20 November 2019 < https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/melanoma-falls-among-sun-smart-generation/news-story/b8501c41c031000cb26196a2e8b7853b>
SunSmart Victoria n.d, Slip! Slop! Slap! Original SunSmart Campaign, Victoria, viewed online 18 November 2019 <https://www.sunsmart.com.au/tools/videos/past-tv-campaigns/slip-slop-slap-original-sunsmart-campaign.html >
Cancer Causes & Control, Whiteman, D.C., Whiteman, C.A. & Green, AC Cancer Causes Control (2001) Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 69–82. online journal viewed online 18 November 2019 < https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008980919928>
Cancer Council 2019, Campaigns and events viewed online 20 November 2019< https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/campaigns-and-events/>