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#CoverUpMate

The NHS is launching a “Cover Up, Mate” campaign across the South of England this summer between 19 June – 28 August 2017.

The campaign aims to encourage men who work outdoors, such as farmers, builders, gardeners and sportsmen, to take a safer approach to the sun in summer in order to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.

This year’s “Cover Up, Mate” campaign is in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View priority to do more to prevent cancer, in line with many partner organisations’ own aims. The target audience has been chosen because incidence of skin cancer in men is increasing at a faster rate than it is for women. Research shows that there is a big gap between what people know and how they behave in the sun and findings indicate that men seem to be worse than women at protecting their skin in the sun.

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers that is increasing in men at a faster rate than it is for women and can be fatal. Men who work outdoors are at a greater risk of skin cancer. Many people are unaware that they can still get sunburnt on a cool day and that they are at risk if they have fair skin, moles, freckles, red or fair hair or light-coloured eyes.

In the UK, more than 100,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year. It affects more men than women and is more common in the elderly. Official NHS advice on staying sage in the sun is:

  • spend time in the shade
  • make sure you never burn
  • cover up with suitable clothing and wear sunglasses
  • use at least factor 15 sunscreen and reapply every few hours.

Dr Patrick Brooke, Chief Officer at Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“The earlier skin cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat, so see your GP as soon as possible if any moles or freckles change size or shape.

“We are hoping that the “Cover Up, Mate” campaign will increase awareness among men in particular of the need to protect against skin cancer when in the sun. It is important that those particularly that work outside adopt a safer approach to the sun in summer in order to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.”

For more information on skin cancer: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-skin/Pages/Introduction.aspx?WT.mc_id=CoverUpMate