Apparently We’re More Worried About Losing Our Phones Than Getting Skin Cancer

No Aussie kid can shake from their memories Sid the Segull and his sun smart campaigns from the ‘80s. Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat, then proceed to stay under a tree between eleven and three – we know this. Those ad campaigns did their job and it’s embedded in our minds. But how many of us still take it seriously?

Smartphones over skin cancer – that’s the scary new discovery from a survey conducted by Cancer Institute NSW. It revealed that we millennials are much more concerned about losing our mobile phone (82%) then we are about the dangers of skin cancer (68%).


It can be easy to justify it to ourselves: we care more about what’s going to effect us immediately than what’s going to effect us years from now, right? But this attitude becomes inexcusable when we consider the cost. 1533 Australians die of melanoma each year. That’s very close to our national road toll of 1314 (2012 stats).

The survey also revealed that in the 18-35 age bracket of Aussies, 35% don’t believe that skin cancer will ever happen to them and 31% disbelieve that the disease is fatal. But it does and it is – just take a read of this real life skin cancer journey of a 25-year-old inner city dwelling Melburnian.

A few months back we dove a little deeper, talking to dermatologist Dr Natasah Cook about what sunscreen actually is, what’s in it and how it works.

The bottom line was this: Always lather up and don’t underestimate the dangers. Skin cancer is still very real and very deadly. Your phone can be replaced but your life can not.

And as a side note (in case you missed it like we did), Sid the Segull has two new steps in his sun smart strategy: seek out shade, and slide on some sunnies.