Irish men urged not to be a ‘skin c(h)ancer’
The Marie Keating Foundation has launched the latest phase of its skin cancer campaign, Skin C(h)ancer, as worrying figures reveal Ireland has the highest mortality rate for melanoma in Europe, with more men dying from this disease than women1.
The cancer foundation’s Skin C(h)ancer campaign is aimed at Irish men who work or spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly sportsmen, farmers and gardeners. The campaign comes off the back of what is believed to be the longest heatwave since 1976 and is a reaction to the startling fact that the incidence of melanoma skin cancer has more than tripled in the two decades from 1994 to 2012.
A recent international skin cancer index has found the death rate from skin cancer in Ireland is higher than in Australia and puts Ireland 14th in the world for susceptibility to skin cancer.
“Our research shows that a fifth (20%) of Irish men are not aware of the visible signs of skin cancer4, which is worrying as skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer if you are careful. You need to be vigilant by knowing your skin-type and checking your skin on a regular basis. Look out for any changes in moles or freckles. If you notice a change in colour, size or shape, bleeding, crusting or itching visit your GP as soon as you can because when melanoma is caught early, it can be treated and the response to treatment can be very effective, Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing Services, The Marie Keating Foundation.
Follow these simple steps to stay safe in the sun:
- Wear sunscreen– with a high factor SPF (50+) and good UVA and UVB protection and apply generously and regularly, ideally every two hours
- Seek shade– especially from 11am to 3pm when UV rays are strongest
- Cover up– with long sleeved clothing and a hat
- Wear sunglasses– with lenses that have UV protection
- Never ever use sunbeds – even just once, as they cause lasting damage
- Check your skin- look for changes in moles and freckles
For further information on melanoma and skin cancer please go to www.mariekeating.ie/spotthedifference