As Mid Ulster enjoys soaring temperatures, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland are reminding sun-seekers – take as much care in the sun at home as you would abroad.
Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, PHA, said: “Being active outside during the summer is good for your health, but everyone needs to be aware that the sun can cause permanent damage to your skin. One episode of sunburn, especially in childhood, doubles the lifetime risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
“Many people may not be aware that skin cancer is the most common cancer in Northern Ireland and accounts for more than a quarter of all people diagnosed with the disease. There is no such thing as a safe tan; keeping safe from harmful UV rays is the best form of protection which will also help towards reducing the risk of developing skin cancer.”
Marbeth Ferguson, Skin Cancer Prevention Co-ordinator, Cancer Focus, said: “It’s important to remember the ‘care in the sun’ messages at home and abroad. The damage caused by the sun can accumulate over time and may lead to skin cancer.
“Everyone is at risk of sun damage, but certain groups are particularly at risk, including those with fair hair and complexions, babies and children, and people with a family history of skin cancer. It is therefore vitally important that all of us take the necessary steps to protect ourselves in the sun and actively reduce the risks of skin cancer.”