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Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) studies

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