Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bondi kicks off Skin Cancer Action Week - 15th November 2009

A mock crime scene was set up at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Sunday to warn of the dangers of tanning.

Sunbathers at the iconic beach were greeted by 1,700 beach towels arranged on the sand, each emblazoned with a chalk outline.

The Cancer Council says every towel represents one of the 1,700 Australians who die of skin cancer every year.

A survey from the council suggests that 43 per cent of teenagers believe a tan looks healthy while one in four get burnt on a typical weekend in summer.

Seventy-one per cent of survey respondents said their friends thought "a suntan was a good thing".

More than a third of young people don't wear sunscreen in the hottest part of the day, the survey found.

A television advertising campaign will begin this week, aimed at changing the attitudes of young people.

Cancer Council CEO Ian Olver said radical measures were needed to warn of the risks of melanoma.

"More needs to be done to educate younger Australians about the dangers of getting sunburnt," Professor Olver said.

"We hope this campaign will help get the message to sink in that a tan just isn't worth the risk."

Melanoma is the second most common cancer in 15-19 year olds, and the most common cancer in people aged 20-29, the council's figures show.

Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.

Skin Cancer Action Week runs from November 15 to 21. (Credit: Fairfax, Wires, Google News, AAP)

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