It’s official, we’re in a heat-wave!
Yesterday, Tuesday 26th June, was confirmed to be the hottest day of 2018 so far. The highest temperature recorded was right here in Wales, with the mercury in Porthmadog, North Wales, tipping 30.6°C.
Exposure to sunlight is great for the mood as well as being essential for vitamin D production, which helps keep our muscles, bones and teeth healthy. But, it’s important that we stay safe in the sun to make sure we enjoy all of those benefits without risking serious sun damage.
Malignant melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that is often associated with damage from sun. It’s the 5th most common cause of cancer in Wales and represents 4% of all cancer diagnoses. Rates are on the rise too: From 2001-2015 there was a 94% increase in rates of melanoma across Wales, which makes it the second fastest growing cancer type. However, the survival rate for melanoma is among the best of any cancer type, with 96.8% of patients surviving 1 year and 89.8% surviving past 5 years.
Research suggests that up to 86% of melanoma cases in the UK are preventable, and there are some easy steps we can take to make sure we minimise our risk:
- Use plenty of sunscreen
- Look out for sunscreen with at least SPF factor 15 and a 4 start rating, with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Cover up
- Be sure to take a sunhat, sunglasses and a t-shirt with you when you’re heading outside.
- Seek out shade
- In the middle of the day (12-3pm), when the sun is at its most fierce, try to stick to shadier spots if possible.
To learn about some of the signs and symptoms linked to melanoma and other common cancers, please click here.