Check your skin cancer risk with our quick health quiz. Skin type, sun exposure and family history all affect your skin cancer risk, but there are many tips that can help you to prevent skin cancer.
What is your risk of skin cancer?
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Most Australians are at risk of skin cancer, but some are more at risk than others. They include people who:
- Are fair skinned – this skin type tends to burn easily and rarely tans
- Have many freckles or moles
- Were exposed to the sun in Australia as a child
- Have a personal or family history of skin cancer
- Are older
- Are male
- Work outdoors for most or part of the day.
If you would like to know more about these risk factors, please see the Better Health Channel fact sheet
Skin cancer – risk factors.
You cannot change some of your risk factors (like your complexion or ageing), but there are steps you can take to reduce overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The following quiz assesses your behaviour and lifestyle to see if they are increasing your risk of developing skin cancer.
How is your lifestyle contributing to your risk of skin cancer right now?
UV radiation from the sun is most intense in the middle of the day. Sun protection is required whenever the UV Index is 3 or above. For most of the day in Victoria, this generally occurs between the months of September and April. In Victoria, the average UV level falls below 3 from May to August, and in the early morning and late afternoon at other times of the year. At these times, sun protection isn’t usually needed unless you are in alpine regions or near highly reflective surfaces such as snow or water.
Score 8 to 12: Your lifestyle choices are putting you at serious risk. Two in three Australians will develop some form of skin cancer before they reach the age of 70. Skin cancer is largely a preventable disease that kills over 1,900 Australians every year. Make some SunSmart changes and have your moles and freckles checked the next time you visit your doctor.
Score 13 to 18: Some of your lifestyle habits are putting you at increased risk of skin cancer. Making a few simple changes (such as using sunscreen or wearing a hat more frequently) could save your life. Browse through the Better Health Channel articles on skin cancer for ideas on protecting yourself from UV radiation.
Score 19 to 24: Congratulations, your lifestyle choices are reducing your risk of skin cancer. Anyone can develop skin cancer, so see your doctor or dermatologist if you have a mole or freckle that grows, bleeds or changes shape or colour, or if any new spots appear on your skin.
> Check the correct answers.
The SunSmart UV Alert
UV levels are most intense during the middle of the day. Check the SunSmart UV Alert for daily sun protection times. Check the sun protection times (when the UV Index is forecast to be 3 or above) using the free SunSmart application for your phone, or online on the SunSmart and Bureau of Meteorology websites. Sun protection times are also in the weather section of newspapers or you can download a free website widget.
You might also be interested in:
- [Skin cancer - children.
- Skin cancer - prevention and early detection.
- Skin cancer - protecting outdoor workers.
- Skin cancer - risk factors.
- Skin cancer - tanning.
- Solariums (sunbeds and tanning beds).
- Sun protection in the snow.
Want to know more?
Go to More information for support groups, related links and references.
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
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Fact sheet currently being reviewed.
Last reviewed: July 2012
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your qualified health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residence and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.
For the latest updates and more information, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
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