Story sponsored by Sanofi.
If there is one lesson life has taught former international cricket great turned farmer Peter Taylor it is the importance of taking care of your skin.
Mr Taylor has had non-melanoma skin cancers removed in the past and watched as two of his good mates - Australian cricket legends Ian Chappell and Allan Border - battled cancer as a result of their long careers in the sun.
That's why he is urging all farmers and those who spend long periods of time working outdoors to get their skin checked on a regular basis.
"The problem with non-melanoma skin cancer is that it could be life threatening but we don't know what we're looking at. These cancers are hidden. They're hidden in broad daylight," Mr Taylor explained.
Mr Taylor's comments come in the wake of a new report which found that up to an estimated 1700 Australians may lose their lives this year due to non-melanoma skin cancers.(1)
Developed in consultation with Rare Cancers Australia and leading cancer specialists using data analyses by PwC Australia, the 'Burden of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer' report provided a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of the potential impact of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (CSCC) and Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) - commonly referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers.
The report indicates an estimated 570,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed in Australia each year and up to four Australians may lose their life to advanced non-melanoma skin cancer each day.(1)
Australia is estimated to have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world (2) and non-melanoma skin cancers account for 97 per cent of all skin cancers.(1) While the vast majority are not life threatening, some advanced cases can be deadly. That's why, Mr Taylor says, we need to be vigilant.
Having played countless games of cricket in his life, including 13 test matches, almost 100 one-dayers for Australia, and endless hours training in the summer sun, he knows how damaging it can be.
After leaving professional cricket in 1992 for a life on the land, Mr Taylor also knows that many of his fellow farmers may also be at risk from skin cancer.
"I've been on the farm here, just about every day, for nearly 30 years. During heavy work periods you're out there a lot. You're out there all day... when it's on, it's on... Farmers and graziers, we are all the same..." he said.
"I didn't know non-melanoma skin cancers could be life threatening to be honest. I thought, melanoma was the big one and that was all I really knew about. But you've got to be so careful. Go to a skin specialist and get yourself checked, it's absolutely essential, and do it regularly."
To find out more visit: www.skincancerunseen.com.au
Story sponsored by Sanofi.
- Sanofi. 2020. The burden of non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia.
- Khazei Z et al. WCRJ 2019; 6: e1265 [Online] Available at: https://www.wcrj.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/04/e1265-Global-incidence-and-mortality-of-skin-cancer-by-histological-subtype-and-its-relationship-with-the-Human-Development-Index-HDI-an-ecology-study-in-2018.pdf last accessed 12 June 2020