Beauty, Skincare

Melanoma Awareness Week starts today; here are the NZ stats

Melanoma Awareness Week starts today; and as a melanoma survivor myself, I want to share the New Zealand stats in the hope of preventing more causes of this mainly preventable and often treatable disease. I got this info today on an email about melanoma week and hope readers find it helpful. (Read my own story of discovering and treating my melanoma, here.)

Highest cancer for Gen X

Melanoma is the highest registered cancer among men aged 25-44, and the second highest in women of the same age group, with 356 deaths each year. That’s almost ONE PER DAY. Too, too many.

Numbers to skyrocket

Over the next two decades melanoma rates are predicted to skyrocket with an expected 50 percent increase in the number of New Zealanders diagnosed with the deadly disease.

“While we all love getting out in the sunshine, we have to ensure we protect ourselves from New Zealand’s harsh UV rays. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our beautiful outdoors, but it does mean we should be wearing a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves, and using sunscreen if we’re spending time in the sun” says Linda Flay of Melanoma New Zealand.

wear yoga clothing summer 2016

Photo: pop a hat on this summer. Image from We’ar clothing.

Ambasadors to spread the word 

This year Melanoma New Zealand has proudly partnered with three celebrity ambassadors who have been personally touched by the disease; Olympic sailing gold medallist and Emirates Team NZ crew member Blair Tuke and former Silver-Fern Adine Wilson, who had her own battle with the disease. Acclaimed celebrity chef Josh Emett, who tragically lost his father to the disease, is also getting behind the cause.

TXT 2448 to donate $3 and go to for a list of skin check providers in your area.

Fact sheet

·         New Zealand has the highest per capita rates of invasive melanoma in the world

·         The majority of melanomas are preventable

·         Melanoma is caused by too much UV radiation either from the sun or artificial sources

·         Currently, melanoma is the highest registered cancer in men aged 25-44

·         70% of melanoma cases occur in people aged 50yrs and older

·         Over 300 Kiwis die each year from melanoma.

·         Death rates are higher among men

·         The chance of developing melanoma increases with age

Anyone in New Zealand can get melanoma

·         Factors that may contribute to melanoma, include:

·         Skin damage due to sunburn

·         Skin type that burns easily

·         Sunbed use

·         Many moles and larger moles

·         A personal or family history of melanoma

·         Fair skin

·         Red, blonde or fair hair

Intro image: sun smart covering up with a beach hat, a model from the Moontide show at NZ Fashion Week 2016. Photo by Annupam photos.

Read my own story of discovering and treating my melanoma, here.

Megan Robinson
14th November 2016


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