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Cabbie Cancer: Could your occupation cause skin cancer?

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With the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, Australians have to be hyper vigilant of the effects of UVA and UVB exposure. We all know the rules of skin cancer prevention – wearing protective clothing, applying SPF 30+ sunscreen every two hours and covering our face and neck with a broad-rimmed hat. However, there are inevitably going to be times when we get aren’t as thorough in our sun-smart ways.

One example of this is called ‘Cabbie Cancer’ – a term used for taxi or truck drivers, who spend large periods of time behind the wheel, resulting in excessive sun exposure on the part of their face closest to the window.

Cabbie cancer is a real phenomenon and there are a number of British and Australian drivers who have been diagnosed with skin cancer just in their right ear. Whilst glass windows offer some protection from UV rays, they do not totally reflect them, so even when the window is up, it’s even more important to follow sun-safe protocol when driving.

As well as presenting a risk to your skin health, sun exposure can cause premature aging. This has been seen is cases of unilateral dermatoheliosis, in which one side of the face experiences faster forms of aging, such as lines and wrinkles, which don’t match up with the other side of the face. An extreme example of this was recorded in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which a truck driver who had worked for 28 years experienced drastically increased ageing of his skin on one side of his face, compared to the other.

The Australian Cancer Council states that between 95% and 99% of skin cancers are caused as a result of direct sun exposure and the areas of our skin that receive the most direct sun exposure are the face and neck – not surprisingly they are usually the areas of skin that are most commonly treated for skin cancer.

If you notice abnormalities in your skin or you haven’t had a professional skin check in some time, it’s time to book one. SunDoctors has skin cancer clinics in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, so head online to https://sundoctors.com.au/, or call 13 SKIN (137546) and book a skin cancer check today.

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