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Book scratches the surface of the ‘Aussie cancer’


Researchers from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have contributed to a book about skin cancer which explains how Australians can make the most of the outdoor lifestyle without risking their health.

Sun, Skin and Health brings together the leading experts in various fields from across Australia and the world, including QIMR Berghofer’s Professor David Whiteman, Associate Professor Rachel Neale and Dr Catherine Olsen.

Professor Whiteman from QSkin – the world’s largest study of melanoma and skin cancer – says the book is significant because it is written for the general public and avoids too much scientific jargon.

“It aims to educate and inform those affected by skin cancer or anyone interested in reducing their risks,” Professor Whiteman said.

“It attempts to ‘de-mystify’ some of the perceptions about skin cancer.”

Editor of Sun, Skin and Health Terry Slevin says Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world with the total yearly cost to Australia of skin cancer expected to exceed $1 billion by 2015.

“Two in three Australians develop skin cancer before they turn 70, and 2,000 die from the disease every year,” Mr Slevin said.

“More than three quarters of a million skin cancers will be treated in Australia this year.”

The book covers issues ranging from the origins of skin cancer, factors driving the strength of UV radiation, early detection and treatment and what to do after the disease.

Mr Slevin is a former chairman of Cancer Council Australia’s National Skin Cancer Committee.

Sun, Skin and Health has been released this week.