18 Feb 2013

Maori urged to take sun risk seriously

6:32 am on 18 February 2013

The Cancer Society says Maori are more likely to die from melanoma than any other ethnicity and should stop underestimating the risk of skin cancer.

Most recent figures show there were 21 cases of Maori with melanoma in 2009, and of those seven people or 33% died.

Health promotions manager Jan Pearson said that's a significantly higher percentage than nationally, where out of 2200 cases of melanoma about 15% result in death.

She said the death rate is too high for Maori and that has to change.

She said Maori people seem to think they don't need to put on sunscreen, and wait too long when what may be a melanoma appears, before going to the doctor.

Ms Pearson said Maori are diagnosed with melanoma more frequently than Asian and Pacific Island people.