What can I do to guard against skin cancer?

During the long summer days it is easy to feel carefree, relaxing the usual routines and postponing the chores for a rainy day – but there is one thing we should not become blasé about and that is our skin. With rates of malignant melanomas rising faster than any other form of common cancer and the number of new cases of all skin cancer reaching 100,000 a year (five times those seen in the mid 1970s), we in the UK really need to wake up to the danger. There are two important statistics that offer a good deal of hope: firstly, 86% of malignant melanomas are preventable; and secondly, survival rates of skin cancer are the highest in cancers and, detected early, it doesn’t have to be life threatening.

Stay safe in the sun

The sun’s rays can burn whether we are at the beach or in Milton Keynes. Those most at risk of malignant melanoma include people with pale skin and those who have suffered episodes of sunburn in the past. The best thing you can do is to reduce the risk by wearing a hat, seeking the shade often during the peak sunlight hours (11am to 3pm) and applying a high protection SPF. If you are looking after babies and young children, keep them out of the direct sunlight.

Be vigilant for changes in your skin

At Mr Sudip Ghosh’s Milton Keynes clinic, many patients present with moles or skin patches that are causing them concern. Mr Ghosh, a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, will conduct an excision biopsy of any suspicious looking skin for examination. Check your skin regularly for patches that are changing shape, colour or size, that are inflamed, crusting, bleeding, itchy or red around the edges or generally behaving unusually; if you spot any of these, seek medical attention – and peace of mind.

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