1 in 3 cases of cancer can be prevented.1

UV exposure and cancer

Did you know that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes more than 95% of all skin cancers?

Did you know if you’ve had cancer, living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent it from coming back?

  • How UV exposure increases cancer risk

    UV radiation comes in different wavelengths called Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). Both UVA and UVB contribute to sunburn, skin ageing, eye damage, melanoma and other skin cancers. UVA penetrates deeply into the skin causing damage to cells, photo-ageing such as wrinkles and pigmentation, and immune-suppression. UVB penetrates the top layer of the skin causing damage to the cells and is the wavelength responsible for sunburn, a significant risk factor for melanoma. UV levels 3 and above are high enough to cause damage to most skin types.
    To find out your cancer risk, take the Cancer Risk Quiz.

  • Cancer Council recommendations

    When UV levels are 3 and above use a combination of sun protection measures to reduce your risk of skin cancer: clothing, sunscreen, hats, shade and sunglasses.

    Find out more about UV exposure and cancer prevention .
    Download our
    free SunSmart UV Alert app for iPhones at the App Store or for Android at Google Play.

Tips to reduce your cancer risk:

  • Slip on clothing that covers as much skin as possible, is made of a tightly-woven fabric and is a dark colour
  • Slop on at least broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen liberally 20 minutes before going outside to allow it to bind to the skin and reapply every 2 hours
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed, bucket or legionnaire-style hat to protect the face, neck and ears
  • Seek shade such as under verandahs, pergolas, gazebos, trees or a sail cloth
  • Slide on close-fitting wraparound sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard
  • To find out how to protect yourself properly with sunscreen, watch this video
  • Check UV levels for your local area by downloading the free SunSmart UV Alert app on iPhones from the App Store or for Android through Google Play
  • If you’ve had cancer, visit Life after cancer treatment to find out what support is available||
Cancer risk quiz

Find out how you can reduce your cancer risk by answering 10 quick questions and download our FREE cookbook:

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1. Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to modifiable risk factors: summary and conclusions