Stadium sunburn a serious threat to sport fans: survey

Going to the cricket or for a swim this summer could prove dangerous for many Australians who ignore sun safe warnings.

A Cancer Council survey says more than one in five people who attend daytime matches or visit a beach, lake or river are likely to get sunburnt.

The next most dangerous places are public parks, followed by domestic pools and gardens, according to the survey of almost 5500 adults.

The survey results have been released to mark National Skin Cancer Action Week, which coincides with the start of the Ashes Test series at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 21.

Australia’s skin cancer figures are startling, says the Cancer Council’s Louise Baldwin.

Over the next three years, 44,000 people will be diagnosed with deadly melanoma.

“That’s more than a capacity crowd at the Gabba,” she said.

The Australasian College of Dermatologists’ Dr Patricia Lowe says the earlier a skin cancer is detected, the better.

“Too often I see patients who had noticed something unusual on their skin yet didn’t seek advice soon enough,” she said.

Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke, a Cancer Council ambassador, said Australia was famous for cricket and skin cancer.

“I’m only 32 and I’ve already had three skin cancers on my face. I’m lucky they were picked up early. Too many of us forget to keep an eye on our skin,” he said.

“If something changes, act fast and get it checked by your GP.”

Cricket commentator Jim Maxwell said sun exposure had ravaged his face and kept dermatologists busy.

“Be smart. Wear a hat and slip, slop, slap, seek and slide,” he said.

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