Skin Cancer

Jun 20, 2018

Slip, Slop, Slap! This slogan, coined in 1981, became one of the most popular public service announcements in Victoria, Australia. The alliterative command was given by a seagull on the beach in an attempt to get swimmers to SLIP on protective clothing, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat. In the decade that followed, there was a 50% reduction in sunburn among Victoria residents.  

Americans could take a lesson from that Aussie seagull. The Skin Care Foundation states that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Skin cancer can be disfiguring and life-threatening. 

About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and about 86 percent of melanomas---the most deadly form of skin cancer--- can be attributed to exposure from the sun.

In addition to preventing excess sun exposure---seeking shade and sliding on sunglasses have been added to the original slogan--- it is also important to look for early warning signs of skin cancer. Do a self exam once a month to look for new skin growths or changes in existing ones. Contact a doctor if you spot any changes in the ABCDs: Asymmetry, Border, Color or Diameter of the growth. It’s a good idea to have a skin exam performed by a doctor annually.