People living in Lancashire and South Cumbria are urged to #KnowYourSkin
during Melanoma Awareness Month.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK and the number
of people diagnosed with the condition has risen steeply since the
1970s. Men in particular are at risk of developing melanoma skin cancer,
with one in 36 diagnosed in their lifetime compared to one in 47 women.
And with May being Melanoma Awareness Month, Dr Neil Smith, local GP and
cancer director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, wants everyone to
regularly check the appearance of their skin as we head into the warmer
Dr Smith said: “Common signs to look out for include a sore, lump,
spot or an area of skin that doesn’t heal within four weeks, or that
looks unusual, hurts, itches, bleeds, crusts or scabs.
“If you notice anything unusual for you, or you have concerns about
possible signs and symptoms of cancer, you should speak to your GP. It
is probably nothing serious, but it is important to get checked out
because early diagnosis makes cancer more treatable.”
Dr Smith highlighted the need for people working outdoors to take extra
care to protect themselves against the sun.
He added: “UV rays are at their highest between May and September.
These months are the time of highest risk when people can burn even on
cool days. You cannot feel UV radiation, so it is very easy to get
sunburned in the UK, even when it is not particularly warm.
“But sunburn causes skin cancer so it is important people take more
care, especially those who work outside. They need to use factor 30
sunscreen or higher with good UV-A protection and apply it generously on
all exposed skin.”
People with fair skin, moles, freckles, red or fair hair, or
light-coloured eyes are the most susceptible to skin cancer. The advice
for everyone, including outdoor workers is:
* Stay in the shade wherever possible.
* Make sure you do not burn.
* Protect yourself by wearing suitable clothing, such as a hat if
* Wear sunglasses and factor 30 sunscreen or higher.
* Re-apply your sunscreen every few hours.
Dr Smith has produced a video which highlights the signs and symptoms of
malignant melanoma cancer which can be viewed at
More information is available from