HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

Dr John McKay is NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) clin­i­cal lead for cancer IT’S cur­rently Sun Aware­ness Week and at time of writ­ing we are ac­tu­ally fore­cast to have some nice weather here in Eastern Cheshire!

Now while I would never be­grudge any­one a lit­tle sun­shine, over­ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) light is one of the main causes of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of our fastest grow­ing cancer types across all age groups, but is far more com­mon among the over-50s. It de­vel­ops due to skin dam­age from UV light from sunbeds and from sun­shine, both in the UK and espe­cially abroad, when we take those much- needed weeks away in the sum­mer.

But it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that sun­burn is skin dam­age.

Dam­age is cu­mu­la­tive through life and it’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to pro­tect chil­dren.

So please take a few mo­ments to read my top tips for keep­ing safe in the sun:

l Ap­ply sun­screen with a fac­tor of at least 15 and prefer­ably higher.

l Avoid sun­bathing be­tween 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strong­est.

l Wear a hat and light, loose-fit­ting clothes, prefer­ably cot­ton.

l If you feel dizzy or weak, move to a cool place as soon as pos­si­ble and hy­drate with flu­ids such as en­ergy drinks.

As a CCG we have made the early detection and treat­ment of cancer one of our key pri­or­i­ties for 2016 and we’re putting lots of mea­sures in place in or­der to achieve this goal – such as fund­ing ed­u­ca­tion on early detection for our GP prac­tices, tak­ing a tar­geted ap­proach to screen­ing and de­vel­op­ing a five-year cancer strat­egy for Eastern Cheshire.

We also support ini­tia­tives such as Macmil­lan’s mo­bile in­for­ma­tion cen­tre or ‘Beryl the Bus’ as she is bet­ter known, and are work­ing on in­creas­ing lo­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion in screen­ing cam­paigns such as Be Clear On Cancer.

This lo­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion is cru­cial to our suc­cess in im­prov­ing cancer out­comes, so I would en­cour­age all those liv­ing in Eastern Cheshire to take up op­por­tu­ni­ties for screen­ing when in­vited, as our res­i­dents re­ally are the best weapon we have against this dis­ease.

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