Australia also has the highest per capita incidence of skin cancer in the world, with an estimated two out of every three people diagnosed by the age of 70.
Karen said they saw an opportunity and teamed up with the Melanoma & Skin Cancer Advocacy Network (MSCAN) to offer skin testing services at multiple events.
“We first offered the service at the Coleambally (NSW) Active Farmers Games in February 2022 and then at the Bridgewater (VIC) Active Farmers Run 4 Resilience in May.”
“The service was also offered at the Cotton Conference in August, where demand was so strong we added more slots and another room so the dermatologist could see more people.”
“At the Nutrien conference, in November, bookings were filled overnight.”
Karen said the concerning outcome was the number of suspected melanomas that were detected through the program.
“A farmer who had her skin checked at Bridgewater was advised to follow-up with her local GP and was diagnosed with a stage one melanoma. Her GP said it looked as though they have caught it in time, but if it had been six months later it may have been a different story.”
At the Cotton Conference there were at least four possible melanomas picked up, with people advised to see their GP and organise a biopsy.
Similarly, at the Nutrien conference just over half of the patients were found to have moderate to severe sun damage.Twenty-one patients required further follow up treatment, including eight for suspected melanomas.
“I think, ultimately, we would like not to find any suspicious lesions,” Karen said. “The fact that so many were identified is concerning, but also highlights the value of the program.”
“Corteva will continue this initiative in conjunction with MSCAN where we can at major events for 2023.”