Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

05/07/07 MP learns how to stay safe in the sun

Rosie Cooper MP

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper met with Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart team to learn about skin cancer and how to stay safe in the summer sun.

Cancer Research UK organised a special Molewatch Clinic, which was staffed by dermatologists and specialist skin cancer nurses, to promote skin cancer awareness and the importance of being SunSmart this summer.

Rosie Cooper MP said:

“It is important to be safe in the sun and to avoid burning. All types of sunburn can cause permanent and irreversible skin damage and can double your risk of skin cancer. I urge my constituents to speak to their GP if they have concerns about a particular mole, freckle or patch of skin that has changed over a period of weeks.”

A national survey for SunSmart - the UK’s national skin cancer prevention campaign commissioned by the UK Health Departments and run by Cancer Research UK - found that 30 per cent of 16-24 year olds said that they were certain to get sunburnt on their summer holiday. And a further 30 per cent said that they might get sunburnt.

The survey questioned 2000 men and women of all ages throughout Britain about their sunbathing habits. Overall more that a quarter of adults (27%) thought getting burnt was all part of getting a tan.

Rebecca Russell, Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign manager, said: "Getting sunburnt increases the risk of skin cancer in general. But the kind of sunbathing binges that happen when people go to much hotter climates and bake on the beach is particularly dangerous."

To reduce the risk of skin cancer and enjoy being out in the sun, the SunSmart campaign encourages people to know their skin type and use the UV index to find out when they need to protect themselves. They should also follow the SunSmart key messages:

- 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.

More information on skin cancer and the Cancer Research UK SunSmart campaign is available from Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart website: www.sunsmart.org.uk

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