East Sussex men warned of high skin cancer risk

The 'Cover Up Mate' campaign is urging men to protect themselves from sun damage
The 'Cover Up Mate' campaign is urging men to protect themselves from sun damage
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Men in East Sussex are being urged to cover up this summer and reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.

East Sussex County Council’s public health team is backing the national ‘Cover Up Mate’ campaign, which urges men to protect themselves from the sun.

The campaign targets men who work outdoors, who are at greatest risk of skin cancer but are often reluctant to take the steps which can drastically reduce their risk.

Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of public health, said, “Cases of malignant melanoma are rising faster among men than women, but men are often worse than their female counterparts at protecting themselves from the sun.

“Outdoor workers such as farmers or those in the construction industry often just want to get on with the job, but they may end up paying the penalty for not taking this issue seriously.”

Cases of potentially fatal malignant melanoma, the most serious form of the disease, have more than doubled in the East Sussex since 2006 and rates are rising faster in men than women, according to the NHS.

“A sun tan is a sign of damage to the skin, not of health, and sunburn increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life,” Ms Lyons said.

“Men owe it to themselves and their families to ensure they take the simple steps which can protect them from this potentially fatal disease.”

People with fair skin, moles, freckles, red or fair hair or light coloured eyes are most prone to skin cancer, the NHS says.

The campaign is urging people to stay in the shade where possible, make sure they never burn, protect themselves with sunglasses and sunscreen and get moles checked.

More information on sun safety is available on the NHS Choices website at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/skin/Pages/Sunsafe.aspx