Sun Awareness Week event – Thursday 7 May

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Find out how to keep safe in the sun during Sun Awareness Week

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with 100,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

And so Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is running a sun awareness campaign during Sun Awareness Week on Thursday 7 May to promote information on how to protect people against too much UV radiation – it will be held from 12-3pm in Central Hall at St Thomas’ Hospital.

This is a chance to meet experts from St John’s Institute of Dermatology and find out how to keep safe in the sun. Patient support groups will share their experiences and there will be free sun screen samples and information leaflets to take away.

Hui Zhang,a clinical nurse specialist in St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “One of our major challenges is changing people’s sun exposure behaviour. Many people have limited knowledge of the effect of sun exposure in relation to skin cancer development.

“We tend not to use enough sun screen and protective clothing in comparison with those who live in Australia, for example. What people often forget is that we need to protect our skin on a cloudy day just the same as on a sunny day.”

Patients treated in our Skin Cancer Clinic include people who work outdoors, those who play a lot of sport outside, people who have intermittent excessive sun exposure on holiday, some who are genetically predisposed to developing skin cancer, and immunosuppressed patients such as kidney transplant recipients.

Some research suggests that over-exposure to the sun in the first 20 years of life is a very important cause of skin cancer later on in life.

The incidence of skin cancer increases with age but the most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma, is disproportionately high in people under the age of 35. The increased number of tanning salons, which are not strictly regulated, may be a contributory factor.

Hui Zhang says: “At our event on 7 May we are aiming to equip everyone with sun awareness knowledge and skills for all age groups. The message is simple – ‘Enjoy the sun responsibly’.”

Last updated: April 2015

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