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Are You Ri-SKing It In The Sun?

New survey shows that men really are useless at safety in the sun!

When it comes to playing sport outdoors, it seems that men pay no attention to the alarming health warnings being issued, about the damage that too much sun can do to their skin. A survey conducted by NatWest and Marie Curie Cancer Care revealed that only one in five men make the effort to put on sunscreen before playing sport and only 8% wear sun protection to watch sport outdoors. When asked for the reason behind this lack of effort, male participants in the survey responded that they cannot be bothered to put sunscreen on, are happy to rely on their own skin for protection or believe that the UK sun isn't strong enough to cause damage. 1

Golf, cricket and gardening are the worst outdoor situations for sun exposure, 2 all of which are carried out predominantly by men, yet despite this, they still don't seem to be aware of how dangerous the build up of sun damage over the years can be.

To make matters worse, men are even ignoring any unusual marks or lesions that appear on their skin as a result of sun damage, even though they can often be attended to if caught early enough.

In fact a recent survey conducted by TNS highlighted that 95% of men are unaware of what solar keratosis is 3 (a common sun induced skin lesion). These are commonly occurring small raised, rough patches which develop on the skin as a result of cumulative sun exposure and burning and often ignored even though in some cases they can lead to skin cancer.

Currently, it is not possible to predict which solar keratoses will develop into a skin cancer, hence the importance of early assessment and appropriate treatment where necessary by a health professional.

To encourage men to be more sun and skin aware and consult their doctor about any new or unusual marks appearing on their skin, a new initiative, the ‘At Ri-SK? Campaign' is being launched. Working in collaboration with Women's Institute Federations, the campaign aims to increase awareness and encourage partners, family and friends to support each other to aid early diagnosis and successful treatment of solar keratosis.

Dr Chris Steele commented “Over the last 10 years the incidence of skin cancer has doubled and as many as 70,000 people a year are diagnosed with skin cancer, but thousands more remain undiagnosed and untreated. The key message is that early diagnosis means the solar keratosis can be treated, in most cases successfully, and prevent possible progression to skin cancer.”



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