For the first time, melanoma diagnoses exceed 1,000 cases per year in Ireland

The latest figures available from the Registry show that in 2014 there were 10,304 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, and worryingly, for the first time melanoma skin cancer diagnoses have breached the 1,000 mark (1,041 cases), almost trebling in the last 20 years. In response, the Irish Skin Foundation has launched the Protect & Inspect™ campaign.

Protect & Inspect™ campaign

The Irish Skin Foundation has launched Protect & Inspect™, a sun awareness health promotion campaign, targeting the sun-loving public but with a particular focus on those who intend to spend time holidaying in the sun, whether at home or abroad. The main aim of the campaign is to help clarify and simplify how people can protect and inspect their skin. The charity, which supports people with skin diseases, is sending a timely warning about the dangers of overexposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation and dispelling confusion about the sun. The launch of Protect & Inspect™ coincides with the end of the school year and the gearing up for the traditional family holiday season.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Yet in most cases, it is preventable and early detection leads to better outcomes. Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is not the most common but raises the greatest concern as it can spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes difficult to treat and can be fatal.

Do you know your skin type?

A person’s natural skin colour influences their risk of skin cancer. Most people living in Ireland have fair skin (skin type 1 or 2) which burns easily and tans poorly. However, research shows that those with fairer skin often judge themselves to be darker than they actually are and as a consequence, underestimate their vulnerability to the harmful effects of overexposure to UV from the sun.

Findings from a recent Irish study carried out in the Dermatology Department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, found that the majority (66%) of patients questioned, underestimated their skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. More about your skin type here.

With this in mind, the Irish Skin Foundation has developed a range of online resources including a simple, but startling melanoma infographic developed in association with the Registry and the National Cancer Control Programme to raise awareness of the link between personal susceptibility (i.e. skin type) and lifestyle behaviours (i.e. sunny holidays frequently associated with sunburn). A more comprehensive report on skin cancer will be published by the Registry in July.

Download the new Protect & Inspect™ infographic from Irishskin.ie and the infographic section of the Registry website, check out a host of campaign articles about how everyone can protect their skin from UV and related topics, and follow the conversation on social media #protect&inspect

For further information on the Protect & Inspect™ campaign, please contact Jill Clarke at the Irish Skin Foundation Tel: 017166300 or Email jillclarke [at] irishskin.ie Or   Michelle Dolan Tel: 01 716 6343 or Email michelledolan [at] irishskin.ie

Download the Irish Skin Foundation melanoma leaflet here.

Download the Irish Skin Foundation melanoma infographic here.

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