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Skin cancer is a substantial public health burden in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) with more than 50 deaths annually. Skin cancer also causes a huge economic burden. The cost of diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer in NZ is estimated to be in excess of NZD$184M annually. Understanding of the aetiology of skin cancer is well advanced and there is consensus that skin cancer usually arises as a result of cellular DNA damage triggered by exposure to ultraviolet radiation ( UVR ), primarily from the Sun.

Primary prevention measures to reduce harmful UVR exposure are key to reducing the burden. It has been estimated that 65–95% of cutaneous melanoma, and 99% of keratinocytic cancers could be prevented by reducing population exposure to UVR .

While maintaining a broad interest in all aspects of  the primary prevention of skin cancer our particular focus is on skin cancer prevention and advocacy in educational and/or occupational settings particularly targeted young people and workers.

Recent or current UVR studies

  • Prioritisation of and advocacy for skin cancer control
  • Ultraviolet radiation exposure in specific occupational groups
  • Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer prevention – attitudes and knowledge of school teachers
  • Shade in outdoor recreation spaces – playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor pools

Ultraviolet radiation studies research team

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