The ‘Man tan’ cam­paign wants us to get se­ri­ous about skin can­cer

Irish Examiner - - News - Maresa Fa­gan

A light-hearted cam­paign high­light­ing how men work­ing or en­joy­ing sports out­doors achieve a ‘Man Tan’ is hop­ing to raise aware­ness of be­ing ‘SunS­mart’ and re­duce the risk of skin can­cer, which kills more men than women in Ire­land ev­ery year.

The cam­paign by Break­through Can­cer Re­search, in as­so­ci­a­tion with Healthy Ire­land’s SunS­mart ini­tia­tive, is ap­peal­ing to male golfers, cy­clists, run­ners, wa­ter­sports en­thu­si­asts, GAA, soc­cer, and rugby play­ers, farm­ers, and con­struc­tion and other out­door work­ers to take ex­tra pre­cau­tions against the sun to re­duce their risk of skin can­cer.

Me­lanoma is the fourth most com­mon can­cer in men and Ire­land has one of the high­est mor­tal­ity rates for skin can­cer in Europe.

In­di­vid­u­als who reg­u­larly spend time out­doors are at ex­tra risk, with out­door work­ers ac­count­ing for al­most 25% of those di­ag­nosed with skin can­cer.

As part of the cam­paign, Break­through Can­cer Re­search has launched a se­ries of short videos show­ing how men achieve a patchy ‘Man Tan’ when golf­ing, cy­cling, surf­ing, or driv­ing a van.

The char­ity urges men to use pro­tec­tion with a sun pro­tec­tion fac­tor (SPF) of 30 or more when the UV in­dex is three or above, even when it’s cloudy, and to en­sure 100% cov­er­age to avoid pat­burn­ing or tan­ning.

Orla Dolan, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Break­through Can­cer Re­search, said it is time that at-risk groups get more se­ri­ous about skin can­cer pre­ven­tion. “Reg­u­lar ex­po­sure to the sun’s in­vis­i­ble UV rays puts out­door ath­letes and work­ers at a high risk of dechy velop­ing skin can­cer,” she said.

“We have seen some very nasty cases of basal cell car­ci­no­mas and me­lanoma in ar­eas that are ex­posed to the sun reg­u­larly, like the neck, ears, and lower legs, espe­cially in men. In fact, al­most one in four skin can­cer deaths are from out­door work­ers alone in Ire­land.”

For med­i­cal stu­dent Conor Sta­ple­ton, who was di­ag­nosed with stage-three skin can­cer last year af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a mole on his back, ap­ply­ing sun­screen has be­come a part of his daily rit­ual.

The 23-year-old, from Vi­carstown, Co Laois, had surgery to re­move the mole, as well as lymph nodes last year, and is cur­rently un­der­go­ing im­munother­apy.

While the GAA player, who has stopped play­ing for his lo­cal club, An­nanough, for the mo­ment, is “feel­ing great”, he warned that be­ing SunS­mart is as es­sen­tial as brush­ing your teeth.

“Like ev­ery morn­ing when you brush your teeth, you should put on your sun­screen and reap­ply reg­u­larly dur­ing the sum­mer months,” said Conor.

“Even on a cloudy day in Ire­land the UV in­dex can be very high and you have that risk of be­ing burned and that de­vel­op­ing into me­lanoma or other forms of can­cer. And speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence it’s not a can­cer you want to get.”

■ For more, see break­through­cancer­re­­cent

Break­through Can­cer Re­search is high­light­ing the se­ri­ous­ness of the ‘Man Tan’ in its new cam­paign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.