Home' Army News : September 30th 2010 Contents ARMY's Domestic Policing
Unit has made a difference
in Townsville assisting the
Queensland Police Service at
Townsville's Flinders Street, East.
An off-duty soldier detained by
the Queensland Police Service in
Townsville was released without
charge into the hands of the Unit
and returned to barracks. As part
of Army's Domestic Policing Unit,
the Townsville section supports 3
Bde by providing a 24-hour polic-
ing response and a minor crimi-
nal-investigation capability to the
Townsville Defence community.
The unit employs contemporary
policing practices ranging from pre-
ventative measures through to crime
response and criminal-intelligence
gathering. This has proven to have
a calming effect, defusing potential
This comes during a week where
police all over the nation initiated a
crackdown on alcohol-fuelled, anti-
Military police assist in community
Army September 30, 2010
By Rebecca Constance
WE'RE Aussies. We live in the sun -- the
bronzed Aussie is a cultural icon, part
identity, part lifestyle.
Anyone who's been to Bondi can spot
the tourist; they're the ones most closely
resembling a lobster.
They've come from colder climates, a
not-so-sunburnt country, and haven't yet
learnt the valuable lessons of a beach-cen-
tric childhood: sunscreen, hats and shade.
Turns out, however, we're not as
'sunsmart' as we should be and people are
still falling victim to skin cancers.
Skin cancers form when skin cells are
damaged by UV radiation.
Each cell carries DNA that 'tells' each
cell what it is, as well as when to develop
and when to die.
UV damages the skin cells' DNA and
this can cause them to mutate and grow
abnormally. If these mutant cells are not
destroyed by the body's natural defence
systems, they will continue to develop and
can turn into skin cancers.
Thankfully, the last decade or two has
resulted in greater education and aware-
ness with respect to the risks associated in
getting too much sun.
We're much more proactive when it
comes to protection. We've heard the slip,
slop, slap message since 1981 and, since
2007, seek and slide (seek the shade, slide
on some sunnies).
It's now common to see primary school-
children wearing hats in the playground
and play equipment under shade cloth, or
outdoor workers in full sleeves and trousers
-- no more Bonds singlets and stubbies.
Sunscreen, sunglasses and hats are tax-
deductible items and employers have a
duty of care to provide rest breaks, water
and facilities with sun protection.
The frightening thing about skin cancer
is it doesn't discriminate.
Anyone who has spent time in the sun
without appropriate headgear or without
sunscreen is at risk.
The more time spent outdoors, the
greater the risk.
Skin cancer is a sneaky disease -- there
can often be a long lag time, of up to 10
years, between exposure and presentation
Know the dangers
Two in every three Australians are diag-
nosed with skin cancer before the age
Australia has the highest rate of skin can-
cer in the world.
Melanoma can occur at a young age
and is the most diagnosed cancer in
Australians 15-44 years of age.
Skin cancers are the most frequent type of
cancer in both sexes, and account for 30
per cent of all cancers in females and 25
per cent in males.
95 per cent of melanoma is caused by
exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.
Need to be smarter in sun
Danger: Whether it's on operations (above) or
as part of a catafalque party (inset), it is not
always possible for soldiers to escape the sun.
The slip, slop, slap message becomes vital to
warding off skin cancer.
Photos by Cpl Neil Ruskin and Cpl Guy Young
of symptoms. There is also an increased
risk whenever ultraviolet (UV) radiation
levels reach three and above; and in a cli-
mate like ours this level or higher is usu-
ally between 10am and 3pm and common
up to 6pm in the summer months.
Coming into summer, it's timely to
revisit the risks associated with sun expo-
It's not a long reach to find someone
who has been affected by skin cancer.
RSM-A WO Stephen Ward has spoken
candidly of his experience with melanoma.
"I am a victim of melanoma. I had it
removed and was given a survival rate
of approx 84 per cent for five years and
approximately 75 per cent for 10 years,"
"Having to assess your survival chances
when you are 41 years of age is not a nice
position to be in."
It's important to remember we now
have two generations that have grown up
with the slip, slop, slap message, and even
though we've added seek and slide, skin
cancer still accounts for around 80 per cent
of all new cancers diagnosed each year in
Considering sun damage to the skin is
largely preventable with appropriate pre-
cautions, it seems to be our behaviour in
the sun that continues to permit the risk.
Information provided by Cancer Council of
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