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Press release

Don’t let the sun catch you out

It’s estimated that six people die every year in Bury from skin cancer.  Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, and it’s a growing problem, but it can be prevented.

As the summer approaches, local people are being urged to enjoy the sun in safety, and NHS Bury is supporting Cancer Research UK’s ‘SunSmart’ campaign.

The best way to prevent all types of skin cancer is to avoid overexposure to the sun.  Most skin cancers are caused by over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun (or sun beds).  Protecting the skin from the sun can help prevent these cancers.

Although anyone could be at risk, some people are more likely than others to develop skin cancer, including those with fair skin; people who have lots of moles or freckles; a history of sunburn; red or fair hair or a personal or family history of skin cancer. 

Dr. Peter Elton, NHS Bury’s Director of Public Health said: “You can’t always feel UV damaging your skin.  It is particularly dangerous when the sun is shining, but if there is a wind or if you are high up, it may not feel too hot.”

“The best way to prevent all types of skin cancer is to avoid overexposure to the sun.  Whether you are at home or abroad; avoid the sun when it’s at its hottest, dress sensibly and use sunscreen.” 

“Sun beds aren’t always a safe alternative to the sun.  Sun beds and sun lamps can be more dangerous than natural sunlight because they use a concentrated source of UV.” 

“If you notice any skin changes that concern you, visit your GP without delay.”

ENDS

Date: 13 May 2010

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: contact Caroline Dearden, Corporate Communications Manager on 0161 762 3106 or email communications@bury.nhs.uk

Notes to editor:

Visit the Cancer Research UK SunSmart website at: http://www.sunsmart.org.uk/

Watch the NHS Choices video about staying safe in the sun: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx#Russell#Russell

Local data sourced from the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development. 

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