Melanoma skin cancer and you.

Melanoma Skin Cancer and You

Melanoma skin cancer has been on the rise in the UK for the past decade or so. Over the last three years, the average number of cases has been 19,300 every year.

That is a third more than between 2009 and 2019.

So there are currently 28 cases per 100,000, up from 21.

This increase in instances is assumed to be attributed in part to an ageing population and increased awareness of the indications of skin cancer.

It is estimated that around 17,000 cases each year are avoidable. Additionally, it is believed that excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure is to blame in 9 out of 10 cases.

Does age make a difference?

Melanoma is a dangerous skin cancer that can spread quickly to other regions of the body.

According to the organisation Cancer Research UK, the increase in cases has affected all age groups. The largest growth is among the elderly, particularly those over the age of 80. Over the past decade, the diagnosis rate has risen from 69 to 96 instances per 100,000.

In the 1960s, there was a cheap package holiday boom to areas like Spain, and researchers believe this contributed to an increase in skin cancer occurrences among the elderly.

Saying that there is a minor increase in instances among individuals aged 25 to 49, although at a considerably slower rate, rising from 14 to 15 cases per 100,000.

This is assumed to be owing to their increased awareness, since they use sunscreen and cover up to avoid overexposure.

But I Don’t Sunbathe

You do not have to sunbathe to get skin cancer, but regular exposure to strong UV radiation increases your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.

If skin cancer is detected early, it can usually be treated quickly, and they will watch you for a period before giving you the all-clear.

Spotting melanoma skin cancer early can significantly increase your life expectancy.

In England, 9 out of every 10 adults diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer will live for at least ten years.

How Can I Spot it?

Look for skin moles that have changed colour, becoming black and glossy. It is difficult to inspect your own back for skin changes, so have someone else do it on a frequent basis.

Have you had a sore place on your skin for more than a few days and it has not healed?

Alternatively, your skin appears unusual.

The more observant you are, the better your chances are of catching it early and treating it successfully.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Spend time in the shade, especially between 11 a.m and 3 p.m.

Do not expose yourself to ultraviolet rays for too long. Cover up with appropriate clothing, including a sunhat if your hair is quite short.

Wear quality sunglasses with UV protection and quality markings.

Use at least factor 30 sunscreen lotion on a regular basis, and remember to reapply after swimming.

If you have children, take extra precautions in the sun by keeping them covered and wearing sun hats.

Conclusion

We all like to get some sun, don’t we? I certainly do.

Simple skin care precautions can help reduce your risk of melanoma skin cancer.

Be aware of any skin changes, such as skin moles changing colour or becoming irritating.

My good friend is here today because he was seen early. We were playing five-a-side football when one of the players saw a black mark on his thigh and suggested he see his doctor.

He was glad it was discovered so early. The mole had a root about an inch long and was near the femur bone. That is where your bone marrow is created. If it had gotten to the bone, he might not be here today.

He still plays 5-a-side football with us on Friday nights.

© 2016 - 2024 Warwickshire First Aid Training Ltd | Head Office: 17, Carew Walk, Rugby. CV22 7JH | Registered in England & Wales No 10127259 | Vat Reg No GB 241 4701 39