App to boost awareness about sun safety

SMARTPHONES are fast becoming the newest weapon in the fight against skin cancer for young Australians, with hopes that SunSmart apps will boost sun protective behaviours.

The use of app technology to engage and educate young Australians will be a topic of interest at the upcoming Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference (November 21-24), hosted by Cancer Council Queensland in Brisbane.

The latest National Sun Protection Survey* shows only one in five Australian adolescents (aged 12-17 years) used three or more sun protective behaviours when outdoors.

The survey also found one in five adolescents (around 360,000) reported getting sunburnt on any given summer weekend in Australia.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said she hoped the Cancer Council's SunSmart app would boost sun protective behaviours among young Australians.

"Young Aussies use apps to keep them on track with their health and fitness - we hope our SunSmart app can be used successfully in the same way," Ms Clift said.

"Of the sunburnt adolescents surveyed*, 20 per cent said their sunburn happened because they forgot to protect their skin, and 23 per cent said their sunscreen simply wore off.

"Using an app to remind young people to take sun protective measures and to reapply sunscreen is an effective tool on a medium that young people are already using comfortably - their smartphones.

"Cancer Council's SunSmart app allows users to track UV levels in real time wherever they are in Australia, and even offers advice on applying sunscreen."

Sun protection is required whenever the UV Index is 3 or above. Cancer Council recommends all five sun protective behaviours (Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide) as best-practice to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

The effectiveness of SunSmart apps will be discussed at the GC-SC 2013 conference - a forum for international, cutting-edge debate across prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management and survivorship for all types of skin cancer.

The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference [or GC-SC 2013] is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of major, business and regional events throughout the state.

More information about GC-SC 2013 and is available at

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.

Topics:  apps cancer council queensland

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