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.