National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness

May is the National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month

Unfortunately for me a lack of awareness and no knowledge of the information below led to a small , insignificant freckle developing into an aggressive melanoma over a short space of time.

Consequently, a large section of my upper foot underwent complex surgery and a major skin graft. Also, a section of my lymph system was removed as there had been some travel of the melanoma. This has left me with permanent disfigurement, a reduced lymph system and lymphedema, all leading to the loss of my career on grounds of disability.
I live with a daily fear of re-occurrence.

Skin Cancer is the world’s most common cancer and cases continue to rise, it has never been more important to take charge of your own skin health.
Over the last twenty-five years, rates of melanoma in Britain have risen faster than any other common cancer.
Over 80% of skin cancers are caused by damage from UV, BUT the good news is around 90% of all cases are PREVENTABLE.
In addition, it is the only Cancer we can physically see developing in its early stages but, with education, we can save lives.
Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate. The simple fact is that if you fail to protect your skin from UV radiation you’re putting yourself at risk. If you allow your skin to become red and burn, this risk can dramatically increase.

No matter how easily we tan, WE ARE ALL AT RISK!

Before you strip off and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, ask the question “ Am I being sun safe”?
By adopting simple sun safe practices, skin cancer can be prevented and save lives.

When UV levels reach 3 or above

SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SLIDE, SHADE.

SLIP on a t-shirt
SLOP on SPF 30+ sunscreen
SLIDE on quality sunglasses
SHADE from the sun when possible

DETECTING MELANOMA

Check your skin once a month, nobody knows it better than you. Get to know your lumps, bumps, spots and freckles.

Follow the ABCDE OF MELANOMA

A – ASYMMETRY: when one half of the mole doesn’t match the other
B- BORDER: when the borders are irregular, ragged or blurred
C- COLOUR: when the colour changes or varies throughout and/or there appears to be o uniform pigmentation
D- DIAMETER: when the diameter is greater than 6mm (could be smaller)
E – EVOLOVING: any changes to appearance or sensation is the biggest indicator
REMEMBER IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT, GET IT CHECKED OUT!!!

Please take a minute to look at the website SKCIN, a national skin cancer charity with a wealth of information and awareness for adults, children, teachers, beauty and hair professionals, employers of outdoor workers, infact…… EVERYONE.

It’s NOT ” just Skin Cancer”

Jayne Williams, Ruthin.

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