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Skin Cancer in New Zealand

Info: 1208 words (5 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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              New Zealand has one of the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. The second one is Australia.  Oceania has the highest skin cancer rate of the seven continents. This article will research the cause of skin cancer, the impact, the prevention and conclusion. The cause of skin cancer into two factors, individual and environment. Mainly in the case of skin cancer caused by environment factors.

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                 Why do New Zealanders get skin cancer? Firstly, the factors of individual. The individual factors in diagnosing skin cancer will be studied from the family’s genetic history and genes for skin cancer within the family. If a person is diagnosed with skin cancer. He/she has skin cancer genes in their family, they have a good chance of having skin cancer. According to research, “Family history of cancer maybe easily gathered through self-report and is often studied to evaluate an individual’s risk for a particular malignancy.” Scientists will try to find a good way to know if person have inherited skin cancer genes.

               Secondly, the factors of environment. The most important environmental cause of skin cancer is sunlight. Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to body cells, especially the skin is particularly frail. Skin cells are most exposed to ultraviolet rays and are easily damaged. If not treated and repaired in time, it will become worse. New Zealand people love the sun when they are on the beach or park grass in New Zealand. It is common to see many people lying in the sun. Even many people in the cloudy weather when specialized to beauty machines to help themselves in the sun like sunless tanning. New Zealand is closer to the equator.  Sunlight is more intense than other countries. People who are exposed to the sun outside, their skin is exposed directly to ultraviolet. It is very damage than the other countries. Continue to sunburn can lead to cell changes that can easily lead to different skin cancers. Oceania has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. In Newshub (2018), “The 2018 skin cancer index published by German medical analyst group derma plus reveals almost 2500 new melanoma cases are diagnosed in New Zealand every year. New Zealand ranked top and Australia in a close second.” Because the ultraviolet level in New Zealand is naturally very high in summer (December to February), the ultraviolet rays from sunlight can cause skin damage and some cancers. Because of the hole in the ozone layer, the ultraviolet rays are closer to New Zealand during the summer than any other time. The harmful impact is bigger than other time. A few minutes can do harm to fair skin.

                Next, environmental pollutants and skin cancer. Pollutants can enter the body from all aspects, the largest area of pollutants in contact with skin, and it has the greatest impact. Since the skin acts as the medium which we come into contact with environment, skin exposed to pollution. So, pollutants can cause skin diseases and even skin cancer.

                Now impact if the problem is not solved, the impact could be worse. Firstly, the death rate will increase year by year. According to the reported, “Since 2000, deaths have numbered about 250 per year from melanoma, and about 100 per year from non-melanoma skin cancer.” It is clear from the table that from 2000 to 2005 the total number of melanoma deaths of men and women in New Zealand was about 256, while the number of deaths from non-melanoma skin cancer was about 100 per year. If person add them together, the overall number of deaths per year from skin cancer is about 356. It is a very high proportion of deaths. Secondly, it has great influence on people’s appearance. There are many skin cancers that are reflected on the surface of the skin, such as melanoma, and can cause ulcers or large dark patches that can be extremely cosmetic. It may cause fear in others. Severe depression may lead to isolation, inability to communicate and make friends with others.

                But there are many ways to prevent it. New Zealanders and the other people who living in New Zealand, the time when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10am to 4pm. Do not schedule outdoor activities during this time, including sport lesson, extreme sports.  Avoiding the sun’s rays and helps people avoid the sunburn. People apply outdoor sunscreen at least SPF 30 degrees throughout the year even on cloudy days. New Zealanders should learn to hold umbrellas. If there are people in family who have skin cancer, it is recommended that person have regular physical examinations and early screening to find out whether you have skin cancer genes. In order to take care of own body. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, which are essential for the human body. Enhance the resistance and immunity, is also good for the body. Now the price of vegetables in New Zealand is often higher than the price of meat. If the government can strongly support farmers to grow vegetables and reduce the price of vegetables, people can buy more vegetables. Then vitamin intake can be more adequate. The rates of fat and cancer will be reduce. These can help prevent skin cancer.

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                 The last, for the conclusion part. Even though skin cancer is on the rise in New Zealand, it is the least serious form of cancer. People can prevent ahead of time, if they discover the skin has a problem and go to a doctor in time. Many types of skin cancer can be cured, they are not fatal. But as long as it’s cancer, it’s always dangerous. The issue of skin cancer should be taken seriously, as New Zealanders love to tan.

(Nicholas L. Berlin, 2015) (Newshub reporter, 2018) (Des O’Dea, 2009) 


  • Des O’Dea. (2009). The Costs of Skin Cancer to New Zealand. New Zealand: The Cancer Society of New Zealand. Retrieved from https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz/assets/Sunsmart/Information-sheets/CostsofSkinCancer-NZ-22October2009.pdf
  • Newshub reporter. (2018, July 30). New Zealand has highest skin cancer rate in the world-report. Retrieved from Newshub: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2018/07/new-zealand-has-highest-skin-cancer-rate-in-the-world-report.html
  • Nicholas L. Berlin, B. C. (2015, December 1). Family history of skin cancer is associated with early-onset basal cell carcinoma independent of MC1R genotype. Retrieved from ScienceDirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877782115001988?via%3Dihub


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