Charity raises awareness about melanoma skin cancer among farming community

A helpful toolkit has been launched to raise awareness about melanoma skin cancer.

A helpful toolkit has been launched by Melanoma Focus charity to raise awareness about melanoma skin cancer among farmers.

The team at Melanoma Focus has been working hard to raise vital awareness and educate the general public about the disease.

The charity’s spokesperson said that 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases are preventable.

They added that early education and vital sun safety measures play an important factor in one day lowering this statistic.

“As we are approaching the warmer UK months, we believe it is vital that awareness about melanoma is highlighted in the farming industry,” they said.

May has been called Melanoma Awareness Month.

Visit the charity’s website to learn more.

Sunscreen tax 

Melanoma Focus is also calling on the government to remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) for high-factor (30+) sunscreens to reduce the cost of this vital product for the general population, making it more accessible to those who cannot afford it.

Its 2023 research found that 67% of all respondents would use sunscreen more if it was 20% cheaper and worryingly, 1 in 10 people are not wearing sunscreen at all because it is too expensive.

SPF or Sun Protection Factor is worked out under lab conditions to give an indication of how much protection a sun cream can offer. The following equation is used:

Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time

So if you would burn without sun protection in 10 minutes and you applied a factor 30 protection, you could theoretically be protected for up to 300 minutes.

But, it is important to remember that lots of factors can affect how long your sun cream will protect you for. Sweating, swimming, clothes rubbing on your skin, your skin type and strength of the sun will all reduce your protection.

It is also important to remember that lab tests are different to real world use; most users will not apply sun cream as liberally or regularly as scientist will for these tests.

Signs of melanoma skin cancer

The two most common signs of melanoma skin cancer are:

  • The appearance of a new mole or lesion on your body
  • A change in an existing mole or lesion (such as a change in shape, colour bleeding or itching).

The charity encourages anyone who has noticed changes in their moles or lesions to contact their GP.

Many of these moles or lesions do not end up being anything serious, however, it is always important to be diagnosed early as early stage melanomas are generally curable.

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