Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Take care in the sun this half-term

People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been urged to stay sun safe with a mini heatwave expected this half-term.

 Skin cancer, also known as melanoma, is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK, killing 2,300 people every year.

Too much exposure to the sun is one of the most common causes of skin cancer, so Dr Adam Janjua, chair of the Fylde Coast Cancer Steering Group, has urged local people to take care while enjoying the warm weather.

Dr Janjua, who is also a GP in Fleetwood, said: “You can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer by avoiding getting sunburned.

“If you are planning to head out into the sunshine this half-term, please cover up as much as possible or wear high factor sun cream.

“It’s easy to get sunburned while out in the sun, even if you are just doing a spot of gardening or going for a walk with the family, so please take care.”

The most common sign of skin cancer is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women.

In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and are more than 1 colour. The mole may also be larger than normal and can sometimes be itchy or bleed.

Dr Janjua added: “Skin cancer is highly treatable and can often be cured if it is diagnosed early. If you have noticed symptoms that could be skin cancer, you should seek medical help as quickly as possible.”