Cancer Council Queensland and University of Queensland conducted a 12-month trial, which was targeted at individuals aged between 18 and 42.

The trial tested the impact and value of SMS-delivered messages promoting sun protection along with skin self-examination for early detection of skin cancer. The third group received texts encouraging physical activity.

The text messages reminded recipients to wear sunscreen and sun smart clothing as well as limit their time in the sun between 10am to 4pm. They also asked participants whether they or someone other than a doctor, such as a spouse or partner, had checked any part of their skin for early signs of skin cancer.

Researchers found the implications of the trial outcomes were very encouraging.

Associate Professor Monika Janda of the university said  in the future a database could be set up for people to subscribe to receive ongoing text messages to trigger greater sun protection awareness, promote skin self-examination for early detection and also reduce the rates of skin cancer.

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