Wednesday 14 November 2018

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Cork Independent

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Cancer campaign aimed at gardeners

Wednesday, 15th August, 2018 4:49pm

Male gardeners are being urged not to be skin c(h)hancers in a new campaign as figures reveal Ireland has the highest mortality rate for melanoma in Europe, with more men dying from this disease than women.

The Marie Keating Foundation launches a new skin cancer campaign, as research reveals Irish men have the highest mortality rate from melanoma skin cancer in Europe.

The Skin C(h)ancer campaign is aimed at Irish men who spend leisure time outdoors, with a particular focus on gardeners, who spend large amounts of time outdoors year-round.

This campaign is urging male gardeners to prioritise the health of their skin and be SunSmart when working on in their allotment or garden.

The campaign comes off the back of what is believed to be the longest heatwave since 1976 and is a reaction to the startling fact that the incidence of melanoma skin cancer has more than tripled from 1994 to 2014. It also targets men who play sports outdoors and those who spend time outdoors for leisure purposes such as gardeners.

A recent international skin cancer index has found the death rate from skin cancerin Ireland is higher than in Australia and puts Ireland 14th in the world for susceptibility to skin cancer.

Speaking at the campaign launch, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation and malignant melanoma survivor, Liz Yeates said: “530 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in Irish men each year, resulting in 88 deaths annually. We’ve launched this campaign to give Irish men a wake-up call and encourage them to take their skin’s health seriously.

“We are appealing to all men including farmers, gardeners, construction workers and anyone who plays sports outdoors, asking them to not only take their health and safety seriously by wearing high-vis vests, gum shields, helmets etc but also to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by following the SunSmart code.”

“Our message is simple; don’t take the chance, protect your skin.”

The Foundation is urging people to follow these simple steps in the sun:

• Wear sunscreen- with a high factor SPF (50+) and good UVA and UVB protection and apply generously and regularly, ideally every two hours

• Seek shade - especially from 11am to 3pm when UV rays are strongest

• Cover up with long sleeved clothing and a hat

• Wear sunglasses - with lenses that have UV protection

• Never ever use sunbeds – they cause lasting damage

• Check your skin - look for changes in moles and freckles

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