This weekend is set to be one of the hottest in 2021 with some areas reaching a scorching 30 degrees Celsius. Consultant lead for skin cancer at UHNM and medical advisor for Melanoma UK, Wayne Jaffe is urging people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to be safe when enjoying the sunshine.
Wayne said: “Skin cancer is the biggest cause of cancer in this country. The most serious – malignant melanoma – is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths and for the most skin cancer deaths spending too long in the sun without adequate protection will put you at risk.
“Wearing a wide brimmed hat, clothing and sunglasses and using at least factor 30 sun cream is the best protection you can get when out in the sun, but you need to reapply it every two hours or so especially if you have been swimming or sweating a lot due to the heat.
“The big risk this year is wanting to catch as much sunshine as possible due to the covid restrictions we have all been through, basically trying to get a tan as quickly as possible, which does not happen and people are putting themselves at risk of forming skin cancer in the future.
“It’s just a matter of getting into the mindset that yes, the sun is lovely in small doses, however, can be very harmful in large doses and sun cream will help reduce the amount of damage you’re causing to your skin.”
Around 16,000 new cases of Melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK. Melanoma is a type of cancer that starts in cells in the skin and the most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole, a change in an existing mole or in other pigmented tissues.
Wayne added: “Whether it’s natural sunlight or using sunbeds, it all puts you at risk of skin cancer.
“You should see your GP if you notice a change in your skin that isn’t normal for you. Even if you’re worried, you shouldn’t delay seeing them. Your worry is unlikely to go away if you don’t make an appointment. The symptom might not be due to cancer. But if it is, the earlier you pick cancer up, the easier it is to treat.”