Farmers Targeted For Skin Cancer Prevention As Uv Levels Still High In Victoria

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16th March 2010, 02:12pm - Views: 738

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Media Release


Tuesday 16th March 2010


Jane Thomas (03) 9635 5271 or 0408 567 521 

Farmers targeted for skin cancer prevention as UV levels still high in Victoria

Victoria’s rural community has been urged to remain vigilant about using sun protection in

March and April, with farmers and outdoor workers at a higher risk of skin cancer.

With UV levels remaining high enough across Victoria to cause sunburn in as little as 16

minutes, SunSmart is running the skin cancer prevention and early detection campaign,

Take care of your farm's most important asset. You. 

SunSmart Manager Sue Heward said sun protection is still needed outside of the peak

summer months.

“UV radiation in Victoria is at a level that can damage skin and eyes and increase the risk

of skin cancer from September to April each year,” she said.


“Our campaign is once again targeting farmers and rural outdoor workers

as research

shows that UV exposure is higher in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries when

compared with other occupational groups.


“Previous Cancer Council research of farmers in the Wimmera and Gippsland areas

showed farmers believed they were at risk of developing skin cancer but didn’t adequately

protect themselves, particularly with sunscreen and long-sleeved shirts.

“The key is to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen, broad brimmed hats, clothing that covers as

much skin as possible and sunglasses when outdoors and wherever possible stick to

doing jobs in the shade during the peak UV period of 10am – 3pm. 

“It is important to look for early signs of skin cancer. Check your skin every three months

and visit a GP if you have any concerns.”

The campaign highlights the personal experience of Les, a Victorian farmer.  Les owned

and ran a farm in Kotupna before developing skin cancer.


Les never thought skin cancer would happen to him. “One day I find a small bump on my

forehead, the next day I’m getting chemo and facing months in hospital. I was forced to

sell up,” he said. 

“It’s so easy to prevent skin cancer. We farmers really should make the effort to protect

ourselves. Take it from me, don’t risk losing your farm.”

‘Take care of your farm's most important asset. You’ radio and print campaign runs until the

end of March 2010. An information brochure and poster are available. For more information: or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.

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