Michelle Hunt, Centre Manager for the Nelson Tasman Cancer Society, on being SunSmart in our sun-shiny region
Being one of the sunniest spots in Aotearoa (top spot goes to Taranaki) means we should also be one of the SunSmart-est regions.
Along with Australia, New Zealand has the highest malignant melanoma rates in the world. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand and more New Zealanders die from melanoma than die on our roads.
The good news is that prevention is as easy as Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap. Slip on clothing and into shade, Slop on sunscreen (broad-spectrum and at least SPF 50), Slap on a hat, and Wrap on sunglasses.
More good news: most melanomas can be successfully treated and early detection can lead to more effective treatment. Check your skin and if you notice any unusual skin changes or see/ feel a spot or mole that is different to others, see your GP for a skin examination.
Skin Check Vouchers - Nelson Tasman
The Nelson Tasman Cancer Society just wrapped up our third year of allocating $75 skin check vouchers, with more vouchers available from October 2023. In the meantime, a number of vouchers have been reserved for GPs to allocate to the patients they know would especially benefit. If you believe you are high risk, please contact your GP to ask about your eligibility.
This generous gift to the people of the Nelson Tasman region was made possible by a bequest from Mr David Blunt, who wanted to ensure that skin checks were more accessible to everyone in his region. David had a close relationship with the Cancer Society and strongly believed in its mission.
The Cancer Society Nelson Tasman provides 1000 vouchers per year to locals in his memory.
SunSmart Shade Loan
If your nonprofit community group is having an outdoors event this summer, protect your team with a SunSmart Shade from your local Cancer Society. Book online, or call:
The Cancer Society Marlborough (03) 579 4379
The Nelson Tasman Cancer Society (03) 539 1137
• Choose a good sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection and is SPF 50+.
• Be SunSmart; Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap. Apply sunscreen generously 20 minutes before going outside, making sure to reapply every 2 hours. Sunscreen should be immediately reapplied after contact with water and when sweating.
• Cover your skin to avoid prolonged contact with UV radiation. Opt for wide brimmed hats, sunglasses and protective loose clothing that covers highly exposed areas such as arms, legs, chest and the back.
• Mini and travel sized sunscreens are a great option for kids going to school or for adults on the go.
• Check the sun protection alert time where you are each day and seek shade whenever possible. Limit exposure during peak hours of 10am-4pm when UV radiation is strongest.