Report says New Zealand has highest rate of melanoma skin cancer
According to the latest data, New Zealand has overtaken Australia and now has the highest rate of melanoma skin cancer in the world.
The country is a dangerous place to be exposed to the sun as a new report found that New Zealand has 50 cases of melanoma per 100,000 people, which is higher than 48 in Australia. The report also found that the cases have started to decline in Australia but it continues to rise in New Zealand. Experts said that the Anglo-Celtic ancestry of the population and the outdoor lifestyles has made them vulnerable to sun damage.
Professor David Whiteman, who led the study, said that the government of New Zealand has not taken adequate steps to ensure adequate prevention and has left most of the work to charities like Melanoma New Zealand.
Whiteman said, "New Zealand's approach has been fragmented, piecemeal and with limited or no government support. The health minister needs to step up and show leadership on this issue because New Zealand is really lagging behind, and that costs lives."
Experts also said that the government of Australia has taken steps to ensure protection like "no hat, no play" policies in schools and policies enforcing hats, sunscreen and protective clothing for outdoor workers. This has started showing results as the number of cases have started to fall in that country.
The report was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.