Smartphones are the newest weapon in the fight against skin cancer for young Australians, with hopes that SunSmart apps will boost sun protective behaviours.
The use of app technology to engage and educate young Australians will be a topic of interest at the upcoming Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference (November 21-24), hosted by Cancer Council Queensland in Brisbane.
The latest National Sun Protection Survey* shows only 1 in 5 Australian adolescents (aged 12-17 years) used three or more sun protective behaviours when outdoors.
The survey also found 1 in 5 adolescents (around 360,000) reported getting sunburnt on any given summer weekend in Australia.
Young Aussies use apps to keep them on track with their health and fitness – we hope our SunSmart app can be used successfully in the same way.
Of the sunburnt adolescents surveyed*, 20 per cent said their sunburn happened because they forgot to protect their skin, and 23 per cent said their sunscreen simply wore off.
Using an app to remind young people to take sun protective measures and to reapply sunscreen is an effective tool on a medium that young people are already using comfortably – their smartphones.
Cancer Council’s SunSmart app allows users to track UV levels in real time wherever they are in Australia, and even offers advice on applying sunscreen.
Sun protection is required whenever the UV Index is 3 or above. Cancer Council recommends all five sun protective behaviours (Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide) as best-practice to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
The effectiveness of SunSmart apps will be discussed at the GC-SC 2013 conference – a forum for international, cutting-edge debate across prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management and survivorship for all types of skin cancer.
The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference [or GC-SC 2013] is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of major, business and regional events throughout the state.
More information about GC-SC 2013 and is available at www.gc-sc.org.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.
*2010-11 National Sun Protection Survey: Report 2, Australians’ sun protective behaviours and sunburn incidence on summer weekends, 2010-11 and comparison with 2003-04 and 2006-07.