Checks find 20 with can­cer

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

ABOUT 20 cases of skin can­cer were picked up when spe­cial­ists held clin­ics in Ash­ford and other towns in east Kent.

The ses­sion in Ash­ford took place at Marks & Spencer last Thurs­day.

Any­one wor­ried about moles or marks or who wanted re­as­sur­ance or ad­vice about skin can­cer could have the free check.

The ses­sions were car­ried out by mem­bers of a team based at Kent and Can­ter­bury Hospi­tal, who also hold clin­ics at the William Har­vey hospi­tal in Ash­ford.

Con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Su­san­nah Baron said: “We picked up quite a few skin can- cer cases and have asked those peo­ple to see their GP for a re­fer­ral for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Men are a re­ally wor­ry­ing group who we need to par­tic­u­larly tar­get but we also need to change peo­ple’s per­cep­tion and at­ti­tudes to the sun and tan­ning.”

Dr Baron said ev­ery­one now needed to be aware of the harm­ful ef­fects of sun ex­po­sure and to take pre­cau­tions ac­cord­ingly, such as cov­er­ing up, avoid­ing the sun from 11am to 3pm and wear­ing sun cream.

Across east Kent, about 200 peo­ple had skin can­cer checks and about 20 cases were found.

Dr Ash­ley Cooper said that three or four of those were of the par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous kind.

He said: “Kent is a peak ge­o­graph­i­cal area for skin can­cer. It has been very use­ful hold­ing th­ese clin­ics and we hope to do the same again next year.”

Dr Cooper said peo­ple had to get used to the idea that a tan from the sun was a bad thing to have.

“Fake tans are a good idea as long as peo­ple re­mem­ber that they of­fer no pro­tec­tion from the sun,” he said.

He said that most skin can­cer cases picked up in east Kent are home grown, af­fect­ing peo­ple who have sel­dom or never been abroad.

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1198144

Con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist Kurt Ayerst checks a pa­tient for signs of skin can­cer at Marks & Spencer, Ash­ford

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