Cancer Council calls for caution

COVER up and be sun smart if you are out and about this summer - that is the message from the Cancer Council Tasmania.

The mercury reached 28 degrees in Launceston yesterday with the UV at extreme levels, which council chief executive Penny Egan said can cause skin damage.

Tasmanians are being encouraged  Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide  and monitor their skin for changes - to detect and treat skin cancers early.

``People often don't realise that you can't see or feel radiation and that you can't feel yourself getting sunburnt until the damage is already done,'' Mrs Egan said.

``When UV levels reach three and above we need to protect ourselves from the sun.

``We should wear sun protective clothing to cover as much skin as possible, a hat to shade the face, ears and neck and also wear close fitting, wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes.

``People should not rely on sunscreen alone and should also seek shade.''

In the past 20 years, the number of men in Tasmania diagnosed with melanoma almost doubled from 87 in 1999 to 163 in 2009.

In 2009, there were 277 cases of melanoma and 34 deaths in Tasmania, and 44,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer in the next three years.

The SunSmart UV Alert can be found at www.cancertas.org.au, www.bom.gov.au/weather/uv, in the weather section of  The Examiner  or as a free iPhone or Android app from www.sunsmart.com.au/resources/sunsmart-app

SUN SAFE TIPS

Slip: on some sun protective clothing.

Slop: on minimum SPF30+ sunscreen.

Slap: on a hat.

Seek: shade.

Slide: on some sunglasses.

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