The results of a study by Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has tried to quantify the benefits of applying sunscreen. Their study found that regular sunscreen use would reduce the incidence of melanoma in Australia by about 34 percent by 2031, which would translate into 28,000 fewer melanomas.
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute’s professor David Whiteman hopes for a more realistic 5% increase in sunscreen use which would still reduce the number of melanomas by about 10%.
“You might think it would be a higher figure but we know that sunscreen is not 100 per cent effective — no sunscreen is — so sunscreen still allows some of the sun’s rays to come through and cause damage to the skin.”
“When we look at melanoma rates in different age groups of the population, we’re starting to see declines in melanoma rates in people under the age of 40,” he said. Yet they’re [melanoma rates are] still rising in older Australians — and rising very steeply in our oldest Australians — who are still unfortunately paying the price for sun exposure incurred in that post-war era.”
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