Skin Cancer Awareness Month

4th May 2020 12:00

"Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This may be long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning."

Throughout the month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month - this is to help raise awareness of the fifth most common cancer in the UK

Throughout the month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month - this is to help raise awareness of the fifth most common cancer in the UK

4th May 2020


"Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This may be long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning."

Skin Cancer Awareness campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and educate the public about the ways to help prevent skin cancer.

is an annual awareness campaign that takes place every May. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and educate the public about the ways to help prevent skin cancer.

UV exposure from the sun is one of the main causes of skin cancer and also one of the most preventable. This campaign hopes to reduce instances of skin cancer and increase the likelihood of early detection through education.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are two main types of skin cancer:

Non melanoma skin cancer (which includes basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and other rare types)  and melanoma skin cancer.

 

Top Causes of Skin Cancer

Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This may be long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning. There are several factors that affect your risk from sun exposure including:

  • how much time you spend outdoors
  • your natural skin colour

Sun exposure can also be in the form of sunbeds (artificial UV radiation). People who use sunbeds are also at risk of developing skin cancer.

Age is also a factor. The older you are, the more likely you are to get non melanoma skin cancer.

 

Skin Cancer facts:

Here are some skin cancer facts to consider:

  • Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Even when it’s cloudy, you still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage.
  • The most common signs of skin cancer are changes on your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole.

 

How you can protect yourself

Here are some sun tips for you to look after yourself when out and about

  • Stay in the shade, especially during late morning through mid-afternoon.
  • Can’t stay in the shade? Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to protect your skin.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or towelling off.

 

Symptoms of skin cancer

Tell your doctor if you notice a change to a mole, freckle or a normal patch of skin.

Doctors use a checklist which explains some of the signs of melanoma to look out for. It's called the ABCDE list. We highly recommend you look at CRUK's list here

We also recommend you watch CRUK’s video on sunburn below and how to look after yourself.

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