Press releases > SunSmart
Gale’s red alert for North Thanet about summer burn risk  (June 11th 2009)
North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has this week warned about the dangers of burning in the sun after learning more about sun safety from experts at Cancer Research UK.
 
Roger attended the annual ‘Molewatch Clinic’ at Westminster last week and was given a clear warning message about the risk posed by sunburn.
 
Malignant melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – is now the most common cancer in women in their 20s*.  Overall the disease kills around 2,000 people every year but rates are predicted to rise.  MPs were urged to share their findings with all their constituents that getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of this most dangerous form of skin cancer.**
 
It is vital to be aware of any changes on your skin, say experts from Cancer Research UK.  The charity advises anyone who notices a change in the size, colour or shape of an existing mole or patch of skin to have it checked out by a GP – especially if they are fair-skinned and/or have lots of moles or freckles.

Molly and Roger
Roger said “I was shocked to learn that experts believe binge tanning  is contributing to the alarming rise in this life-threatening disease. A lot of people will be spending their holidays on East Kent`s wonderful  beaches instead of going abroad this year. It’s vital for people to know that wherever they are, they need to take simple measures to protect their skin by covering up, spending time in the shade (especially between 11am and 3pm) and using at least SPF 15 sunscreen.  Even minor sunburn can be a sign of permanent damage.”
 
“Cancer Research UK’s Molewatch Clinic has underlined how important it is to enjoy the sun safely and to avoid burning.”
 
Katy Scammell, Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign manager, said:  “Whether abroad or at home this summer, don’t let sunburn catch you out.  Use shade, clothing and at least SPF 15 sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.
 
“Melanomas can grow anywhere on the body so it’s crucial to check all areas of your skin regularly for any unusual changes, as the disease is much easier to treat when it’s spotted earlier.
 
“Anyone with concerns about a particular mole, freckle or patch of skin that has changed over a period of weeks or months should make sure they speak to their GP as soon as possible.”
 
Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign encourages people to know their skin type and use the UV index to find out when they need to protect themselves. 
It offers guidelines on how to be sensible in the sun:
 
- S pend time in the shade between 11 and 3
- M ake sure you never burn
- A im to cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
- R emember to take extra care with children
- T hen use factor 15+ sunscreen
Also report mole changes or unusual skin growths promptly to your doctor.
 
For information on skin cancer and the Cancer Research UK SunSmart campaign visit: www.sunsmart.org.uk
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