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Skin cancer protection at ECU

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

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Melanoma researcher Professor Mel Ziman is engaging with local organisations to safeguard their workers against the harmful UV rays that cause melanoma.

Melanoma causes 80 per cent of skin cancer-related deaths, with Australia having the highest incidence of melanoma in the world.

Professor Ziman and the team at ECU’s Melanoma Research Group joined forces with international manufacturers, Cristal Global, to examine over 80 employees from their Australind and Kemerton sites. Many of these people work outside on a daily basis.

Associate Professor Ziman was joined by Director of the Perth Melanoma Clinic and respected plastic surgeon Robert Peace as they performed the free skin checks.

“Melanoma is a serious disease, which is caused primarily by prolonged exposure to UV rays,” Professor Ziman said.

“By performing skin checks on these employees, we have not only raised awareness about the danger of prolonged sun exposure, but also detected skin abnormalities which may have the ability to develop into melanomas later, with 18 of the workers examined sent to a clinic for further examination.”

Cristal Global have donated over $4,000 to help further melanoma research at the University, with Robert Pearce also donating his time for the day.

The funding will go towards the group’s main research focus: developing a simple blood test to detect circulating melanoma cells, which will result in earlier detection and better treatment.

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