Discuss about the UV Exposure Leads to Cancer among Australians.
Sun is a helps in the production of vitamin D in our body, which in coordination with calcium aids in the growth and development of bone and provides strength to the bone. When our skin is exposed to the sunlight, production of vitamin D occurs in the body opined by Fransen et al., (2012). Although sunlight cat as a promoter for the synthesis of vitamin D, the sun also releases ultraviolet radiation. Evidence reveal the fact that overexposure to UV radiation might lead to the development of skin cancer in human beings. According to Chen et al., (2013), sunburn is an indication of damage or mutation in the DNA of the skin cells due to the exposure to the UV radiation. The challenge imposed on finding the way to balance the requirement to protect the skin from the effects caused by the UV rays and the importance of receiving an adequate amount of vitamin D for maintaining a good health caused a public confusion over the last few decades. According the latest report, Australia has been found to be the on the world’s major zone affected by melanoma. This report will focus on the assessment of few internet media communications based on the elevation in the incidence rate of melanoma in Australia, and it also discusses the effectiveness of the communication in addressing this issue.
Impact of the Emergency on Public Health:
It has been reported that from the last thirty years Australian mortality rate due to skin cancer has increased, and it was identified that more that 2000 Australians die out of skin cancer every year opined by Sinclair, (2013). This is a huge public health concern that needs to be addressed, and awareness of melanoma risks among the public should be developed through various media ("Vitamin D and sun protection – getting the balance right - Cancer Council Australia", 2016). Moreover, the protective measure needs to be implemented by the nation's regulatory and legislative body. Certain Internet-based blogs highlighted that this country has slowly evolved from a “country of tanned sunbakers to UV savvy sunscreen promoters.” However, the promotion of the advantages of vitamin D in order to strengthen muscles and bones led to claims that a huge proportion of the Australian population is deficient in vitamin D. In reality, maximum population of Australia has enough level of vitamin D (Leiter et al., 2014).
Figure 1: Public awareness of skin cancer prevalence
(Source: www. au.gov)
According to a website named as "SunSmart," Australia has the highest accountability of melanoma globally that has been found to affect both females and males. The major dispute lies in the diagnosis process. It has been reported that more than forty thousand fresh skin cancer cases are diagnosed yearly and the year 2013, has experienced the death of 460 skin cancer patients. In another, media release (Cancer Council Australia) new research revealed that almost around two third of the teenage Aussie’s remain exposed to the harmful effects of the UV radiation during the peak hours of the radiation ("Prevent skin cancer & sunburn this summer - SunSmart", 2016).
As opined by the “Australian government website,” low vitamin D has been reported to be linked with elevation in the risk of bowl cancer, cardiac disorders, bone fracture, infections, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid diabetes, and diabetes. Evidence revealed that sensible protection against the sun cannot lead to the risk of vitamin D deficiency (Australia, 2016). Vitamin D can also be obtained through diet. The confusion that has been created about the health benefits and risks of exposure to UV radiation in regards to vitamin D continues in the community and therefore, skin cancer related mortality continues to increase, making it a public health challenge in Australia.
Figure 2: Mortality rate in Australia due to melanoma from 2000 to 2012
(Source: www. au.gov)
According to the “Australian government” website the incidence of skin cancer has increased over the time accounting to 151 percent in males whereas, 46 percent of females ranging from 1982 to 2007 (Sinclair, 2013). This also implicates that due to the advancement in the technological aspect over the time, diagnostic methods have become easier and faster. Studies reflect that from the year 2007 to 2020, the expected increased incidence rate related to melanoma is 18 percent in females and 30 percent of males opined by Perera et al., (2015). It has been observed that the melanoma rate in Australian male is two folds more as compared to female. The exact exposure required to expand different skin cancers is not completely comprehensible. It is probable that both episodic and cumulative exposures are vital. The episodic exposures have been shown to more strongly verify the risk of melanoma (Guy et al., 2015).
Features of the Communication:
As opined by the "Australian government website," there is evidence that reflects that cancer prevalent in young adults has unique biology and therefore, these individuals have distinct clinical, psychological need. According to Sinclair (2013), the most common type of carcinoma diagnosed among this age group was skin cancer. Teenagers or children who were at the risk of developing skin burns on the weekends were traced in the locations which lacked shades such as parks, beaches, and play grounds. That is the reason why the young group of active population is prone to melanoma, and it is increasing over the years. The Cancer Council, Australia states that once the damage occurs or mutation takes place, it cannot be undone or altered. Therefore, it is necessary to have an early diagnosis or precaution to avoid the harmful effects of the UV rays discharged by the sun (Iannacone & Green, 2014).
In order to reduce the risk of developing melanoma, teenagers need to be encouraged to avoid the peak time of UV emission as a measure to prevent and promote the reduction of mortality rate due to skin cancer opined by Sinclair, (2013). In addition to this, the application of sunscreen, sun-protective clothing and sunglasses were the significant encouragement discussed in this media communication. According to Professor Aranda, melanoma is the most common type of cancer detected among the group involving individuals of age 15 to 29 years (Iannacone & Green, 2014). Although, the treatment is mostly expensive in the healthcare system, this type of carcinoma is easily preventable.
In order to overcome the complication and understand the pros and cons of sunlight, Cancer Council organization which is completely based on evidence, identified the need for consultation with Australian expert bodies specialized in skin cancer and vitamin D for developing better health recommendations for Australian health. It has been identified that there are several factors that influence the production of vitamin D. The main two factors are skin type and lifestyle opined by Dixon et al., (2014). Various studies have revealed the fact that sun protection becomes vital when the UV levels are 3 or above. Therefore, it can be concluded that every day normal exposure is enough to initiate the production of vitamin D in the body. More exposure, to sunlight, would not increase the level of vitamin D in the body rather would elevate the level of melanoma risk. Moreover, this study encourages using the various application for UV forecasts to increase the level of UV protection among the Australians (Janda et al., 2013).
This media integrates with "EFTPOS" announcement of its funding in the next step in order to promote construction of shading in the secondary schools. It was assured by "EFTPOS" that it will be involved in funding in eighteen high schools in addition (Zhang et al., 2012). This will aid in the construction of sun shades on the play grounds of the schools to protect the students from the harmful radiation of UV light. The total funding for this was estimated at dollar 1.25 million (Iannacone & Green, 2014). The media communication discusses the provision of funds for making shades in forty-five schools across Australia as a measure of protection for 28,000 children. Additionally, this media communication encourages the process of education to be safe in various climates. As discussed by Cakir (2012), the constant measure taken by "EFTPOS" in reducing the overall effect of UV exposure by the young Australians has been discussed and encouraged through this media communication.
Effectiveness of the Media Communication:
The various internet websites appeal to all the audience regardless of age, sex, and income or qualification level. The market or promotion strategy involved posters, advertisement or representations in the television and website promotion through other internet site. In addition to this, SunSmart is linked to various primary and secondary schools, health professionals, workplaces and local government. The organization aids in the promotion of public health approaches related to skin cancer by rigorous community-level work which is underpinned by campaigns of the state media. These campaigns in the past have achieved success by promoting messages discussed in the media communication regarding the encouragement in the use various sun protective measures (Stewart & Wild, 2016).
Once the site get the popularity, the websites communicate with the audience by creating a virtual world of information regarding the awareness and risk related to cancer. Like for example, statistical facts and figures recorded in 2010 reveal that the total cost of the state health system is over dollar five hundred million in order to treat non-melanoma skin cancer proving that skin cancer is the most costly burden on the healthcare system. The main objective of the “SunSmart” website is to minimize the human expenses of skin cancer in Australia by adopting the role of a leader in order to promote a balance between the pros and cons of UV radiation exposure which is linked with vitamin D ("Prevent skin cancer & sunburn this summer - SunSmart", 2016). This website is effective in providing information related to UV radiation and promotes the growth in the risk assessment process of skin cancer in Australia.
SunSmart is an organization that influences the community for assessing oneself for identification of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer such as sore, pale patches or waxy translucent bumps. These sites advices the community members to assess themselves regularly and if the patches remains for a long duration, then further diagnosis is required.
The Cancer Council website has proved to be effective by reducing the conflict regarding the benefits and harmfulness of the UV radiation that happens to be a vital part of the Australian population. This media communication resolves the conflicts that exist in the minds of the Australian community regarding the exposure and use of UV radiation and biological explanation of vitamin D production in human body opined by Waldmann et al., (2012). Moreover, this website communication encourages the use of UV index provided by the SunSmart in order to understand whether the climate is eligible to move outdoor without a shade. Moreover, the risk factors the sense of awareness among the community especially among the young generation has been the focus of the communication. According to Stewart & Wild, (2016), several recommendations have been discussed in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer among the secondary school going children and teenagers by encouragement in the construction of shades. The implementation and approaches of funding laid a deep impact on the building of shades in areas prone to UV radiation and which can cause harmful effects to the young Australians (Iannacone & Green, 2014). The weakness of the media communication is the avoidance of considering the ethical aspects of the society for promoting the public health awareness in terms of skin cancer through measures.
Although sunlight promotes the synthesis of vitamin D, the UV radiation that is generated from the sunlight causes an alteration in the structure of DNA through mutation in the DNA of epidermal cells leading to skin cancer. Statistical analysis shows that Australia is the most affected country in the world in regards to skin cancer. According to a website named as "SunSmart," Australia has the highest accountability of melanoma globally that has been found to affect both females and males. The major dispute lies in the diagnosis process. Evidence reveal the impact of the media communication in the promotion of public health. Thus, it can be concluded that application of the UV index before getting exposed to sunlight, use of various sun protective tools during the day time are essential for reducing the mortality rate among the young generation in Australia. Additionally, the awareness synthesized by the various media should be concretely followed by the community and the government bodies in order to reduce the death rate due to skin cancer in Australia.
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