Bristol Sun Safe Melanoma Skin Cancer Warning

Bristol Sun Safe Melanoma Skin Cancer Warning: Bristol has the Big Sun in today’s forecast as well as tomorrow, with temperatures in the city expected to reach up to 21 degrees by the afternoon.

That sun has just put in a timely appearance for Sun Awareness Week, which runs from today until Sunday 20 May 2018.

But a Bristol nurse is urging people to make sure they are protecting themselves from the damage the sun can cause by staying covered and wearing sunscreen.

Gemma Shaw, UH Bristol’s Macmillan melanoma nurse, knows only too well the horrors of skin cancer.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body. If  it is recognised and dealt with early it is usually curable. But if people don’t spot it soon enough, it can become harder to treat.

“Melanoma isn’t always preventable, but avoiding getting sunburned can reduce people’s changes of developing it'” Gemma says.

“There is a high risk of getting burnt whilst on holiday or doing outdoor activities such as gardening, playing sports such as cricket or sunbathing.

“It’s important when you’re outside in the sun to be really careful, particularly if you have pale skin and many moles. You can help protect yourself by using sunscreen and dressing sensibly in the sun.”

She recommends regularly checking skin and to visit your GP if there are any changes to moles. They can refer people to a specialist clinic or hospital.

The appearance of a new mole or an existing one that changes is the most common sign of melanoma. This can happen anywhere on the body, though most commonly appears on the back in men and the legs in women.

Melanomas usually have an irregular shape and are more than one colour. The mole may also be larger and can sometimes be itchy or bleed.

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