Be sun aware - that’s the message from New Forest District Council as it launches a campaign to help reduce the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer in the New Forest.
The New Forest has the second highest rate of malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in England, which is why the council hopes its campaign will encourage people to protect themselves in the sun and regularly check their skin for signs of skin cancer.
Nine out of ten skin cancer cases are preventable if simple measures are followed and the majority of skin cancers can be cured if detected early enough.
Residents are advised to use a high protection sunscreen of at least SPF30 with a high UVA rating, to check all their skin every month, and to tell their doctor about any changes to a mole or area of skin. Remember - if in doubt, always check it out!
Councillor Di Brooks, New Forest District Council’s portfolio holder for health and leisure, said: “The New Forest is a wonderful place to spend time outdoors and some sunshine can be good for us – often giving us a sense of wellbeing.
“However, over exposure to the sun can lead to a range of skin problems and potentially skin cancer.
“Skin cancer is a prevalent health issue for us in the New Forest and by raising sun awareness we hope to reduce the number of residents diagnosed with skin cancer in the future. We also want to encourage people to regularly self-examine so they can detect any signs of skin cancer early and see their GP quicker. This could save lives.”
Over the summer the council is attending several community events and talking to local groups about sun awareness.
A sun awareness leaflet and spotting skin cancer leaflet are available from council information offices and leisure centres. It is also available on the council’s website www.newforest.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=14224
If you are a community group and would like more copies of the leaflets, contact the communications team on 023 8028 5588.