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Skin cancer awareness month

Published: 21 May 2018

May is skin cancer awareness month so we’re taking some time to help spread the awareness!  Being one of the most common cancers, skin cancer is also one of the most easily avoidable.  It comes in two main categories; the less-critical non-melanoma, and the more serious melanoma.

What causes skin cancer?

Skin cancer is mostly caused from UV light exposure which comes from the sun and tanning beds.  Other causes include; lots of moles/freckles, red/blonde hair, history within the family.
Types

Non-melanoma

These are more common but less threatening as they are not malignant.  There are two common types of non-melanoma skin cancer that make up the vast majority of cases:
According to the World Health Organisation: between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year.  (Estimates put this higher as many skin cancers are not reported to cancer registries).
 

Melanoma

These skin cancers are more serious – they can spread to other parts of the body if not treated early.  There are 5 main types of melanoma:


According to the World Health Organisation: Around 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year.  (Estimates put this higher as many skin cancers are not reported to cancer registries).

Self-examination

Be sure to check regularly, especially during summer.  If you cannot fully check yourself over (for example, your back), get a friend or family member to help you.

Non-melanoma:

For BCC, look for:
 
For SCC, look for:

Melanoma:

Use the “ABCDE rule” to look for some of the common signs of melanoma:

Preventative measures

For more information:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/non-melanoma-skin-cancer/
www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/
www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts

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