Ballina, Byron and Tweed shires have three of the highest incidences of melanoma in the state.
The areas were named this morning with the release of a Melanoma Red-Zone map by Cancer Institute NSW.
The institute estimates 4,158 people in NSW will be diagnosed with life-threatening melanoma in 2011.
The institute says the sun is stronger along coastal areas, especially in the north, and combined with our outdoor lifestyle that can create a deadly mix if we are not careful.
Professor David Currow, chief cancer officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, says, ‘Your skin needs protection from the sun when the UV index is three or above… the middle of the day from August until May.
‘It is expected we will see UVR levels hit extreme levels this summer – so we are issuing a caution to all communities across the state to plan their day to avoid UVR overexposure.’
The institute recommends taking the following precautions:
• Seek shade and avoid the sun when the UV index hits 3 or higher. This is especially so between 11am and 3pm in summer.
• Wear protective clothing to cover your skin, especially your shoulders, arms and legs.
• Wearing a broad-brimmed hat when you are outside is the best protection for your neck, ears and face.
• Wear sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067 to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
• Reapply, reapply, reapply your SPF30+ sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.