Thousands more Britons than Australians die from the malignant melanoma skin
cancer, despite the fact that more cases are diagnosed in Australia.
Figures come from Cancer Research UK and the Government, which have launched
a joint campaign called SunSmart to make the public aware of how they can
combat what is a largely preventable form of cancer.
A lack of public awareness about skin cancer and failure by patients to
recognise early symptoms often leads to needless deaths.
In the past five years, there have been 8,100 British deaths from malignant
melanoma compared to 4,900 in Australia.
Although Australia has one-third of the population of the UK, it has more
cases of malignant melanoma. Yet each year, 600 more people die from the
disease in Britain than in Australia.
Dr Charlotte Proby, consultant dermatologist for Cancer Re-search UK, said:
"The success of sun awareness campaigns in Australia is self evident. They
are taught to take notice of any unusual skin growths or changes in moles, and
to have them checked by a doctor. So where there is disease, it is diagnosed
early and can be successfully treated."
The campaign is distributing posters, leaflets and information cards to
health professionals, doctors’ surgeries and schools.