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Hospital shines bright to raise awareness of skin cancer

Specialist skin cancer nurses at York Hospital are warning people not to let sunburn catch them out this summer by providing advice and information to help prevent and detect skin cancer.

‘Sun Awareness Week’ runs from 4 to 8 May, with an information stand in the hospital foyer and a specialist skin cancer nurse on hand at certain points throughout the week. To further highlight sun awareness the hospital will also be brightening the skies every night with yellow lights from the rooftop.

Lucy Skelton, a Macmillan Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “Skin cancer is a growing problem, it is the most common cancer in the UK and over 80 percent of all skin cancers are caused by over exposure to the sun or sun beds. More people die from skin cancer in the UK than in Australia.

“Melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer, is now one of the most common cancers in adults aged 15-34 in the UK, and every day two adults are diagnosed with it. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the main environmental cause of skin cancers and sun bed use increases the risk of developing some skin cancers.

“Rates of skin cancer are increasing faster than any other cancer, with figures doubling every 10 to 20 years but it is also the easiest cancer to cure if it is diagnosed and treated early. We want to encourage people to regularly self-examine for skin cancer and learn about the dangers of sunburn and excessive tanning.”

 Tips on being Sun Smart:

  • Know your skin type - the fairer the skin, the more careful you need to be
  • Wear at least factor 30 sunscreen to protect your skin
  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Wear long sleeved clothing if possible
  • Cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses - when the sun is at its strongest, sunscreen is not enough
  • Take extra care with children
  • Avoid sunbed use
  • Report unusual moles or skin changes to your doctor.

08 May 2015

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