The specialists will have information and displays in Main Reception at Salisbury District Hospital on Monday, 15 May 2006 and again on Thursday 25 May 2006. They will also be in hand at different times on these days to provide advice.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in this country and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year.
Overexposure to ultra violet light from the sun and sun beds has led to an increase in the number of cases of skin cancer. Instances of malignant melanoma – the most serious form of the disease – have doubled over the last 10 years.
Dermatology specialist nurse Jo Allum said: "It is important that everyone takes the necessary precautions such as covering exposed skin with clothing, using high factor sun cream, and avoiding the sun, especially between 11 and 4 PM which is the hottest time of the day."
Ms Allum added: "People with fairer skin colouring are more at risk. Children and babies are particularly vulnerable to damage from the sun. Sunburn in children increases the risk of them getting a melanoma as young adults, and melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer."
Dermatology specialist nurse Linda Burt said: "Anyone worried about skin cancer should see their family doctor. If there are any problems, there is a fast-track referral system so that they are able to see a specialist at Salisbury District Hospital quickly. Although most skin cancers are curable through surgery if detected early enough, over 2,000 people in this country still die from the disease each year. Effective precautions are all that is needed to reduce the number of skin cancers." End
Notes to Editors:
There are two main groups of skin cancer: Malignant melanoma and non-malignant melanoma skin cancer.
- Malignant melanoma is the rarest, but most serious. It affects the pigment-producing cells found in the skin and can appear as a new mole, or from an existing mole.
- A malignant melanoma has the potential to spread to other sites and organs within the body, but is curable if treated early. It is more difficult to cure if it spreads.
Non malignant melanoma skin cancer
- These are far more common, but less dangerous than malignant melanoma and very rarely fatal.
- Basel cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma frequently appear on skin after many years' exposure to the sun.
- They are easily treated with surgery, but if left, can grow and disfigure. Early treatment is recommended.
Frequent checks for any moles that change size, shape or colour; or any skin lesion that does not heal, gets bigger, itchy or inflamed. If you are worried consult your GP.
Many skin cancers can be treated if caught early enough and the national skin cancer helpline is also based at Salisbury District Hospital. Known as Marc's Line – this service is funded by the Wessex Cancer Trust to give help and advice on skin cancer to people with skin cancer and their family and friends. The helpline will also give advice to anyone worried that they may have skin cancer.
The Marc's Line number is 01722 415071
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust. Tel: 01722 425170