With the local farming community in the thick of harvest and the warm summer months fast approaching, Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton has thrown his support behind a campaign ‘Hidden in Broad Daylight’ to raise awareness of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Mr Coulton has been joined by former Australian test cricketer and now farmer, Peter Taylor of Gurley near Moree, to highlight the importance of getting a skin check.
“Skin cancer is often referred to as Australia’s ‘National Cancer’, with Australia’s rates estimated to be the highest in the world,” Mr Coulton says.
“With many farming communities right across the Parkes electorate busy with harvest and often working long hours in the sun, it’s a timely reminder for us all to get our skin checked.
“Having been a farmer myself, I know the days can be long and it’s easy to forget about things like skin protection.
“I urge everyone in the Parkes electorate, and in our farming communities around Australia, to get their skin checked and remind friends and family to do the same.”
Mr Taylor, who has been a farmer for the last 30 years, has shared his story about dealing with non-melanoma skin cancer and his misperceptions of the potentially deadly cancer in the new awareness campaign.
“I’ve had non-melanoma skin cancers cut out, and I’ve had them burnt off, and I didn’t know that it could be life-threatening,” Mr Taylor says.
“I thought melanoma was the big one, and that was really all I knew about it. But it turns out non-melanoma skin cancer can be just as fatal. We are appealing to farmers to do the right thing – cover up and get your skin checked regularly.
“During heavy work periods like harvest season, farmers are out in the sun a lot – sometimes all day.
“The problem with non-melanoma skin cancer is that we don’t know what we’re looking at. They are hidden, they’re hidden in broad daylight. To all farmers like me please do the right thing – go to a skin specialist, get yourself checked. It’s essential we do this regularly.”
To find out more visit skincancerunseen.com.au.