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Yorkshire skin cancer rates have nearly doubled since 2001

Yorkshire skin cancer rates have nearly doubled since 2001

Published at 2:55pm 25th June 2018. (Updated at 9:52am 26th June 2018)

Yorkshire Cancer Research Promoted by
Yorkshire Cancer Research

Skin cancer rates have been on the rise in Yorkshire over the past 15 years according to Yorkshire Cancer Research. How can you reduce your risk?

Malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is the fifth most common form of cancer in Yorkshire, and this Summer, Yorkshire Cancer Research is encouraging you to get sun smart. 

As doctor and skin cancer expert Dr Wal Hussain explains "If in doubt check it out."

Dr Wal Hussain inspects skin of patient

What are the signs of skin cancer?

  • The most common sign that you may have skin cancer is the physical change to a mole, freckle or other area of normal skin. This could be a change in size, shape or colour. 
  • Other signs also include new growths or sores than doesn't heal, soreness or itching, or moles that bleed, crust or scab. 

Noticing any of these signs should always result in going to see your GP. Early diagnosis is crucial. 

Dangerous UVA and UVB rays

There are two types of ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays that damage the skin. 

UVA rays - these cause premature aging of the skin. 

UVB rays - these causes burning of the skin. 

Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to cancerous cells in the skin. 

Dr Wal Hussain inspects skin of patientSo what can you do?

We got some very easy to follow advice about protecting your skin from UV rays and reducing your risk of skin cancer from Yorkshire Cancer Research

How to protect yourself and reduce the risk of skin cancer?

As the experts from Yorkshire Cancer Research explain, there is no such thing as a 'safe tan', whether it's from the natural sun or from sunbeds

  • Stay in the shade - particularly 11am - 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. 
  • Cover up - wear loose clothing, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses to put an actual barrier between you and the sun. 
  • Apply sunscreen - use a minimum of SPF30 AND look for the 5 star rating system. If this is 3 stars or lower (look on the bottle) it's not very good at blocking all the dangerous UV rays. IMPORTANT: How expensive a sun cream is is not a reflection on how effective it is. 
  • Re-apply sunscreen BEFORE you head into the sun and reapply regularly especially if you've been in water, have rubbed it off with clothes /towels or have been sweating. 
  • Don't use sun beds - They DO cause cancer. Yorkshire Cancer Research put some myth busting facts together on sun beds. If you're after a tan, the safest way is fake tan from a bottle. If you're concerned about low vitamin D levels (which affects very few people) supplements are available, never use a sunbed instead. 

Beth Parsons from Stray FM's Health and Wellbeing Show talked to Leah Holtam from Yorkshire Cancer Research and Dr Wal Hussain from the Leeds teaching Hospital Trust about the dangers of sun exposure and the prevalence of skin cancer in Yorkshire. 

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