May is a great month for special days, Mother’s Day, May the fourth (be with you), Labour day – but you may not be aware that the whole month of May is dedicated internationally to skin cancer awareness. What does skin cancer awareness have to do with real estate you may ask – well -not much, but it is a topic which is very relevant to me personally and to thousands of Australians.

My early career saw me spend much of my time in the sun and this combined with my skin type, a hallmark of my Scottish heritage, has resulted in a significant amount of sun damage. I see a specialist dermatologist yearly and every visit results in the removal of sun damage and pre-cancer basal cell carcinomas. Most are easily (but painfully) burnt off, but this has included surgery.

According to the Cancer Council Australia more than 2,000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year, and Cancer Council estimates that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer, with costs increasing substantially over the past few years.

Most skin cancers can be prevented with the use of good skin care protection. The Cancer Council Australia urges us to use the five forms of sun protection. These are to:

  • slip on sun-protective clothing
  • slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
  • slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • seek shade
  • slide on sunglasses.

This is a great time to join in the conversation about Skin Cancer Awareness. As this is one of the most common preventable cancers people are being encouraged to share their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #mySkinCancerJourney and build a community of healthy skin champions.

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