Word on Health

Word on Skin Cancer

Our grateful thanks to the charity Skcin for their contribution to our on-air radio report (which you can hear again via the audio player at the bottom of this page) to access their website for further information click here.

To access the free app developed by Skcin mentioned in our radio report click here

Skin Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. Over the last few decades the incidence of skin cancer has increased dramatically.  The charity Skcin reminds us, over 210,000 cases of non-melanoma are diagnosed annually in the UK. Over 16,000 cases of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) are diagnosed annually in the UK.

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 36 males and 1 in 47 femaies will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime and it is one of the biggest killing cancers in the 15-34 age group.

According to Skcin Up to 90% of skin cancers are preventable by adopting simple sun safe strategies. Skin cancer is also the only cancer we can physically see developing in its early stages and if detected, diagnosed and treated early enough, almost all cases are curable.

Over 80% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. This includes UV rays from the sun, but also from sunbeds and tanning lamps. UV radiation damages DNA in your skin cells, which can accumulate over time and increase the risk of genetic mutations that cause skin cancer.

Learning about the risks associated with UV exposure, how to prevent skin cancer and how to spot the early signs and symptoms - saves lives. 

What Is UV? Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) consists of the short, invisible rays from the sun that reach the earth's surface. The sun's rays contain three bands of UV: UVA, UVB and UVC. (UVC rays are absorbed by the upper atmosphere and do not reach the earth's surface - it's UVA & UVB we need to ensure we are protected against).

If the most deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is caught in its early stages the majority of cases can be cured. However if it is not found until later, when it has spread, it is much more difficult to treat and the survival rate after 5 years is less than 5%."

 Whether you are in the UK or abroad, protect your skin by:

  • Covering up in the sun and staying in the shade when the sun is at its strongest, between 11am and 3pm avoiding long periods of exposure to the sun
  • Wear factor 30+ sunscreen and reapply throughout the day
  • Take extra care with children and if you have fair skin
Regularly check your skin for new sores and lumps that donlt heal after a month, play particular attention for:
  • Spots or sores that bleed, itch, develop a crust or hurt
  • Unexplained skin ulcers
  • New or existing moles which appear to be growing or changing shape
  • New or existing moles which are a range of shades of brown and black
  • New or existing moles which are larger than 6mm in diameter
  • New or existing moles which have jagged edges

Visit your GP immediately if you notice any unusual changes to your skin or moles


Listen to this weeks radio report

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.