Over Easter, for some of you lucky people, you will have enjoyed glorious sunshine boosting your intake of Vitamin D! You might have worked in your garden or been out and about and got sun burnt, because you didn’t think the sun was strong enough for you to put sun cream on. This is a good time to be aware and start thinking about skin protection as summer is on its way!
An article in the BBC News says there’s a rise in skin cancer cases since the 1970s. Cancer Research UK reveals more than 13,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year. In the mid 1970s, it was around 1,800 people, meaning around 3 people in every 100,000 had it. Now it is around 17 people in every 100,000.
Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. More than 2,000 people die from it every year. What is malignant melanoma? It’s the most serious type of skin cancer and it can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
One of the reasons for the increase is that more people take holidays to Europe. Another reason is that more people use sunbeds. The overexposure to UV rays is the main cause of skin cancer.
People who have pale skin, red or fair hair, light-coloured eyes, lots of moles or freckles, a history of sunburn or a family history of malignant melanoma are more at risk of developing the cancer.
Follow the good sun safety habits both at home and abroad, and you will reduce your risk of developing malignant melanoma. Cover up with a t-shirt or similar top, spend some time in the shade, and use sun cream with good UVA protection and SPF 15 (or higher).
If you get sun burnt, it is a sign that the DNA of your skin cells have been damaged, which can lead to skin cancer. If you are worried about any changes in your skin, especially if your moles get bigger, please visit your doctor as soon as possible, because the earlier you are diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of surviving. Don’t worry, not all moles are dangerous, but it is important to get them checked if they look bigger or different compared to normal.
Remember, even if the sun doesn’t seem to be strong, it is important for you to take good care of your skin and put on sun cream/face cream with SPF 15 or higher whenever you are out and about.
Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan