Be SunSmart this Summer

4 October 2021|Community News| Off Comments off on Be SunSmart this Summer|

A routine skin cancer check in May 2020 might have saved Brooke Everingham’s life, after a tiny mole on her back turned out to be a stage 4 melanoma.

“I was in Launceston and got a call from my doctor at 7am in the morning and she told me it was a stage 4 melanoma,” she said, “I was shocked to say the least.

“That was on the Tuesday morning. At 9am Friday I was in surgery in Hobart, so it was a very quick turnaround.”

Ms Everingham had the melanoma and a large section of skin removed from her back and shoulder area.

“Thankfully they took everything they needed to take,” she said.

“I had never paid too much attention to being covered up in the sun or wearing sunscreen. But for something so tiny, it became very serious in an instant.”

Ms Everingham then faced a long recovery from surgery and, during that time, tragically lost a close friend to skin cancer.

“Coming into summer last year I had a lot of anxiety about being in the sunshine,” she said.

“I used to have a beautiful relationship with it but now I was terrified.

“I thought skin cancer only affected old people. I still love the sun, but my relationship with it is now very different.”

Ms Everingham was the special guest last month when Cancer Council Tasmania officially launched its SunSmart 2021 program at its Southern Support Centre in Sandy Bay.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and Cancer Council Tasmania CEO Penny Egan said the SunSmart program aimed to highlight the importance of skin cancer prevention and skin awareness.

“Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70,” she said.

“Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer and is mostly caused by UV radiation from the sun.

“In Tasmania, melanoma of the skin is the second most-diagnosed cancer in men and women, highlighting the need for further community education about sun protection and skin awareness.

“Once outdoors, remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, and more often if you are swimming or sweating. Being skin aware is also vitally important – looking for a change in shape, size or colour of existing spots, or the development of a new spot.”

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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