Crazy Britons Still At Risk
NEW survey shows that a 3rd of people still risk sunburn!
.. and people living in the North are the least Sun Aware.
Despite continued skin cancer awareness campaigns, a new survey
conducted by TNS (TNS Research Group) released this week shows that
whilst the majority of us claim to be ‘Sun Aware’, over 1 in
2 people living in the North still get caught out and burn at the
beginning of the summer and worse still, a third of us admit to not
using a sunscreen whilst sunbathing in the UK.
As millions took advantage of the long awaited sunny Bank Holiday, a
study from the University of Manchester has revealed that at midday on
a Bank Holiday Monday, people should not be
spending more than nine minutes in the sun without risking burning. To combat this, a new initiative titled the ‘At Ri-SK? Campaign’
is being launched this month to urge people to be more sun & skin
aware, and consult their doctor about any new or unusual marks that
appear on their skin. Working in collaboration with key Women’s
Institute Federations, the campaign aims to increase awareness and
encourage partners, family and friends to support each other to aid
early diagnosis and successful treatment of solar keratosis.
Dr Chris Steele, a skin cancer sufferer himself and ITV This
Morning’s resident GP, will be speaking at a series of Women’s
Institute educational meetings and commented:- “Medical data
shows that the incidence of solar keratosis (common sun-induced skin
lesions caused by cumulative sun exposure/ damage) is particularly
high in rural areas compared to the rest of the UK – this is likely
to be due to the number of people who work outside, perhaps in
construction or outdoor attractions. Awareness is vital to encourage
people who think they may be at risk, having previously over exposed
their skin, to consult their doctor if they have any concerns - this
new survey shows that in the North alone, 1 in 2 people take up to a
month to consult their GP about new or unusual marks on their skin.
More worryingly, 1 in 5 wouldn’t visit their doctor at all!”
The survey also highlighted that 100% of people living in the North
of England – the highest in the UK – are unaware of what solar
keratosis is (a common sun induced skin lesion). These commonly
occurring small raised, rough patches (solar keratosis) develop on
the skin and are often ignored even though in some cases they can
lead to skin cancer. Research shows that up to 10% of solar
keratoses go on to develop squamous cell carcinoma, a common type of
skin cancer, which is also one of the most treatable if diagnosed
early. Currently, it is not possible to predict which solar
keratoses will develop into a skin cancer, hence the importance of
early assessment and appropriate treatment where necessary by a
Dr Chris Steele concludes:- “For many people the safety advice
comes too late, which is why it is vital to highlight the importance
of checking your skin for changes on a regular basis. Over the last
10 years the incidence of skin cancer has doubled and as many as
70,000 people a year are diagnosed with skin cancer, but thousands
more remain undiagnosed and untreated. The key message here is that
early diagnosis means the skin lesions can be treated, in most cases
successfully, and prevent possible progression to skin cancer.”
GIVES ADVICE ON SURVIVING THE SUMMER SUN
THE dangers of heat and top tips for surviving the summer sun
were this week highlighted by the Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam
Donaldson with the publication of an updated heatwave plan.
The plan gives advice to health workers and those caring for
vulnerable older people so they know what action to take in advance
and in the event of a heatwave. A public information leaflet will
also be made available which gives practical advice on surviving the
Although severe heatwaves are uncommon in England, the experience
across Northwest Europe in 2003 is a reminder that heat can be
fatal. In England figures released showed there were 2,000
excess deaths -
85% of which were amongst people aged 75 and over .
Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam
Donaldson said:- "Taking action in advance can help reduce the
number of excess deaths from heat. This plan will help make sure
that the NHS and care services are prepared should a heatwave
arrive. The elderly are particularly vulnerable and it is
important that those aged over 75, especially those who live alone
or in care homes, take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. We will be sending a leaflet to GPs, pharmacies and
walk-in centres across the country with basic advice to help people
protect themselves from the effects of high temperatures".
The public information leaflet called 'Heatwave - a guide to
looking after yourself and others in hot weather' contains top
tips such as:
- If a heatwave is forecast, try and plan your day in a way that
allows you to stay out of the heat.
- If you can, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am
- If you must go out stay in the shade. Wear a hat and light loose
fitting clothes, preferably cotton. If you will be outside for some
time, take plenty of water with you.
- Take cool showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day
with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck.
- Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more cold food, particularly
salads and fruit, which contain water.
- Look after older people. They are much more prone to the effects
of heat. If you have older relatives or neighbours you can help
simply by checking on them if possible every day, and reminding them
to drink plenty and often. They should have a mixture of drinks
including fruit juice and water. They should keep their house as
cool as possible.