Skin cancer is now the UK's most common cancer in both men and women

Macmillan skin cancer nurse specialists will be promoting sun awareness and the dangers of skin cancer during Sun Awareness Week which runs from 10 to 16 May.

Skin cancer is now the UK's most common cancer in both men and women with more than 69,000 cases of melanoma and non-melanoma reported each year. Malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, affects over 6,000 people in the UK with around 1,600 deaths each year.¹

It is also the third most common cancer in those aged 15 to 24. However, the vast majority of skin cancers could have been prevented by taking precautions against the sun's ultra-violet rays.²

To help spread the prevention message, Macmillan skin cancer nurse specialists will be holding sun awareness days in shopping centres and 'Mole Watch' clinics in local shops and hospitals where the public will be invited to have their moles checked. Nurses will also be on hand to give advice and information on safe behaviour in the sun.

Karen Curtis, Macmillan Clinical Skin Cancer Nurse Specialist, says, 'Skin cancer is a growing problem and we want people to take care. In the last ten years skin cancer has risen faster than any other cancer in the UK. Macmillan skin cancer nurses are ideally placed to provide health promotion messages to the general public. By following simple guidelines we can still enjoy the summer sunshine.'

Sun Awareness Guidelines include:

- seeking the shade between the hours of 11am and 3pm
- covering up
- wearing a hat with a wide brim and wrap around sun glasses
- using a UVA/UVB protection sun cream factor 15 or above (apply 15 to 30 minutes before going outside)
- taking care with children and covering up in the sun

If anyone is concerned about skin cancer or has a mole they believe is suspicious they should visit their GP to get it checked out. For more information on cancer, please call the Macmillan CancerLine freephone number on 0808 808 2020, email: [email protected] or browse the Cancer Information Centre section of this site.

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