Skin cancer prevention

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand and we have the highest rates of melanoma skin cancer in the world.

The good news is that most skin cancers, including melanoma are preventable by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) that causes harm. To check the UV levels in your area for today, use HPA's Sun Protection Alert.  

In New Zealand, the prevention of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety is led by HPA, in partnership with Cancer Society of New Zealand, Melanoma NZ, and the Melanoma Network of New Zealand Incorporated (MelNet).

HPA works to encourage SunSmart behaviours in our community. These are to Slip on a shirt/top with long sleeves and a collar, Slip into the shade, Slop on sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, broad spectrum and water resistant, and apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, Slap on a wide brimmed hat, and Wrap on close fitting sunglasses.

Our latest online video encourages you to protect yourself while outside from September to April, when UV levels are most dangerous, by using the SunSmart behaviours above. Watch it below, and share it on your own websites or social media to spread the word.   

For more information about skin cancer prevention visit the SunSmart website, including how to be SunSmart, how to check your own skin for signs of skin cancer and common questions about early detection.

Other useful links