Skin cancer can be deadly and beachgoers should take every precaution to avoid sunburn as temperatures continue to rise over summer.
Health Minister Jim McGinty today issued the sobering reminder at the launch of a new ultraviolet (UV) indicator warning system at Cottesloe Beach, to inform people of the daily intensity of the sun.
The new UV indicator system is a joint project between the Australasian College of Dermatologists and the Cottesloe Town Council.
Mr McGinty said it was easy to become complacent during the summer months but said the dangerous effects of UV exposure could not be ignored.
“It is worrying to think that Australians have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, with one in two people developing skin cancer at some point in their life,” the Minister said.
“In Western Australia alone, skin melanoma kills about 60 people every year.”
Mr McGinty said skin melanoma was the second most common cancer type in males with more than 600 cases reported each year and the third most common type in females with more than 400 cases a year.
“Being a recreational fisherman and diver myself, I love to get out in my boat and spend time on the water,” Mr McGinty said.
“But thanks to my Scottish heritage, I have fair skin which makes it even more important for me to cover up to avoid sunburn.
“Prevention is the best cure for skin cancer, so I urge people to take more care while they are out in the sun to reduce the risk of deadly melanomas.”
Mr McGinty said the State Government was committed to educating people about the health risks of sun exposure.
He said the Government had allocated more than $1.2million last year to promote the ‘Sunsmart’ message at some of WA’s premier sporting events.
The Government had also provided $300,000 to the Cancer Council of WA for the 'Me No Fry' campaign that targeted adolescents.
Minister's office: 9220 5000