Be safe in the sun this summer: Free information and support on sun safety and cancer coming to area.

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Cancer information and support is coming to the people of Staffordshire from Wednesday 1st June to Friday 3rd June, courtesy of Macmillan Cancer Support’s mobile service.

A team of cancer information specialists will be stopping off in Staffordshire to answer questions, provide support and inform people about local cancer services. It’s open to anyone, no matter what your concern – whether you’re living with or beyond cancer, or are a loved one or carer for someone who is. Now that summer is here, the team will also be providing specialist advice and information about sun safety and skin cancer (though please note the team will be unable to perform skin checks.)

Details of the visit:

* Wednesday 1st June and Thursday 2nd June
Staffordshire Show (ticketed event), Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road,
ST18 0BD
8am to 6pm

* Friday 3rd June
Stafford, Market Square,
ST16 2BD
10am to 4pm

The number of people developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is continuing to rise, with around 110,330 people living with malignant melanoma in the UK,
and 13,500 people diagnosed every year, (around 37 people every day)1. It is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, and slightly more common in women than in men.With all of the varying types combined, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK.

 

Moray Hayman, a Macmillan Information and Support Specialist on the unit explains;

“Skin cancer, if caught early, is very treatable and actually has one of the highest survival rates of all cancers. Being sun aware is key. Our advice is to avoid sun beds, wear a high SPF sun screen with a four star rating or more so it will block out UVA as well as UVB rays, and cover up in the sun.”

 

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To help keep you safe in the sun, the British Association of Dermatologists advises following these top sun protection tips below:

* Spend time in the shade during the sunniest part of the day when the sun is at its strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm in the summer months.

* Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and very young children.

* When it is not possible to stay out of the sun, keeping yourself well covered, with a hat, T-shirt, and sunglasses can give you additional protection.

* Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin. Re-apply every two hours and straight after swimming or towelling in order to maintain protection.

The below guide is a useful tool for checking your skin for the signs of melanoma skin cancer, which you should do once a month. If you have any concerns make an appointment to see your GP.

* Asymmetry – the two halves of the area may differ in shape

* Border – the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches

* Colour – this may be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen

* Diameter – most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any change in size, shape or diameter to your doctor

* Expert – if in doubt, check it out! If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS

Signs of non-melanoma skin cancer may include:

* A scab or sore that won’t heal. It may also bleed occasionally

* A scaly or crusty patch of skin that looks red or inflamed

* A flesh coloured, pearly lump that won’t go away and appears to be growing in size

* A lump on the skin which is getting bigger and that may be scabby

* A growth with a pearly rim surrounding a central crater, a bit like an upturned volcano

Moray Hayman, a Macmillan Information and Support Specialist says,

“We’re also there for anyone else with any worries or concerns, no matter what type of cancer. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed, are going through treatment or are living beyond cancer, feel free to pay us a visit – and we welcome carers, family members and loved ones as well. We can provide information on a range of issues, including different treatments, financial advice, exercise, getting back to work, or what local services might be on offer for you. You can even just stop by for a chat, no appointment needed.”

Macmillan’s four mobile information units travel around the UK visiting local communities, providing cancer information and support on the ground. Last year they helped 74,000 people in over 565 locations across the UK.

For further information about Macmillan’s mobile information service, and planned visits, go to http://www.macmillan.org.uk/aboutus/contactus/mobileinformationcentrelocations.aspx

Please note that at busy times, there may be a wait.
In the case of unforeseen circumstances there can be last minute changes to our staffing and the presence of external specialists, but the core team will still be on hand to answer questions and provide support.

If you are unable to visit the unit but have questions about cancer, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm). You can find out about Macmillan services near you at http://www.macmillan.org.uk/in-your-area/choose-location.html