What You Need To Know About Skin Cancer
In addition to being one of Coventry’s most trusted aesthetics practitioners, Dr Sharon is also notable for her dedication to many important charitable causes. In her role as an ambassador for Skcin, a UK-based skin cancer charity, she has the vital task of raising awareness of this form of cancer. This also includes awareness of how this form of cancer can present itself on the skin and what people can do to reduce their risk of developing it.
As around 80% of all skin cancers come about as a result of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun, what better time than now – at the height of the summer – to learn everything you need to know about skin cancer!
Skin Cancer: The Facts
Skin cancer is a disease that doesn’t discriminate by skin type or age and is currently the most common form of cancer in the UK. And with diagnosis seemingly increasing year by year, there’s much more to be done in terms of educating people on how to both recognise, and protect themselves from, this form of cancer. Of the various types of this disease, it’s non-melanoma skin cancers (Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma) and melanoma itself that present the most significant danger, with the latter of these responsible for 2,500 deaths in the UK each year.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are usually characterised by the emergence of sores, lumps, growths and nodules on areas of the skin that commonly come into contact with the sun and can sometimes be mistaken for conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Melanoma, which is by far the most severe type of skin cancer, can be recognised by the development of new moles or changes to those which already exist.
Without early detection, skin cancer can be fatal and this is why it’s always a good idea to know what you’re looking for as well as having your skin checked out by a specialist on a regular basis
The Five Ss of Sun Safety
To aid matters, Skcin has put together a helpful checklist of what to do to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Known as The Five Ss of Sun Safety, the tips featured here may seem like common sense but will prove extremely valuable in helping you avoid this disease. As a starting point, you should always make sure that you wear a T-shirt when outside to ensure that your body is fully protected from the sun, with the use of a broad spectrum SPF encouraged all year round. When out in the sun, it’s advisable to wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your neck, ears and face whilst purchasing a decent pair of sunglasses is a must when it comes to shielding your eyes! It’s also preferable to seek shade when the sun is at its hottest – this is generally between 11 am and 3 pm.
When Karen Clifford died of skin cancer in 2005, her family took it upon themselves to use this tragic event as a force for change. Since 2006, Skcin has focused its efforts on improving public knowledge of skin cancer and making information about this preventable condition much more accessible to people of all ages and walks of life. Thanks to a series of national accreditations schemes, community initiatives and fruitful partnerships with high-profile companies such as Virgin and AXA, Skcin has had a positive impact on public understanding of skin cancer and has encouraged people to use this knowledge to protect themselves and others from the threat of UV radiation.