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Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has issued a reminder of the importance of sun safety after a newly released melanoma hotspot map showed that the Tamworth region ranked among the top 25 hotspots for melanoma in NSW.

Mr Anderson said that now summer had begun, it’s important that we remind family members and friends of the importance of being sun safe.

“Melanoma is the most common form of cancer amongst young people and is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australians,” Mr Anderson said.

“We’ve all seen the ads reminding us to ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ and now is the time to make sure we’re in that habit.

“Whether you’re out for a day on the water at Lake Keepit, playing cricket with mates, or in the yard keeping the weeds at bay, it’s important that we have the sun protection we need to avoid the risk of developing melanoma.”

The melanoma hotspot map shows the Tamworth region ranking 23rd in local Government areas, alongside mainly regional areas like Bathurst, Lismore, Byron and Port Macquarie.

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said despite having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, many of us are still not doing enough to reduce our skin cancer risk.

“This should be a real reminder to our regional communities, if you step outside, whether it’s at the beach or for a walk to the shops or along the river, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, cover up and seek shade,” Mrs Taylor said.

95 per cent of melanoma and 99 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun, and can be prevented with proper sun protection.

Cancer Institute NSW recently launched a powerful new skin cancer campaign targeting the nearly 70 per cent  of 18-24 year olds who fail to protect their skin outdoors.

The campaign focuses on the invisible but potentially lethal threat of UV radiation, illustrated through the use of arrows penetrating unprotected skin.

The most effective defence against UV radiation is to follow five key steps before leaving the house: Slip on protective clothing, Slop on SPF50 sunscreen, Slap on a wide brimmed hat, Seek shade, and Slide on sunglasses. Sunscreen should always be re-applied every two hours.

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