Charity and FHT accredited course provider, Skcin, work to raise awareness of the need for early detection of skin cancer and melanoma. Complementary therapists are well placed to spot early signs of skin cancer and sensitively advise clients to speak to their GP and so this month, Skcin are sharing a series of blogs to help raise awareness.
Across skin cancer and melanoma awareness month, these blogs will look at the topic of skin cancer as a whole, sun protection, spotting early signs of skin cancer and how to approach the conversation with clients.
About skin cancer
Since the early 1990s rates of non-melanoma skin cancer have risen by 166% in the UK with cases expected to reach almost 400,000 by 2025. The incidence of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) has risen faster than any other common cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 36 males and 1 in 47 females will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime and alarmingly, it is one of the biggest killing cancers in the 15-34 age group.
Whilst skin cancer statistics are concerningly high, the good news is that around 90% of all cases are preventable . In addition it is the only cancer we can physically see developing in its early stages, so with education, we can reverse these statistics and save many lives.
What Causes Skin Cancer?
Around 90% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to UV radiation from the sun and/or sun beds. Sunburn, reddening, peeling and even tanning of the skin, is clear indication of sun damage. While many people associate a tan with looking healthy, a tan is actually a sign that our skin has been harmed by UV radiation and is trying to defend itself against further damage.
Sunburn has strong links to melanoma. When we burn, the superficial layers of the skin release chemicals that cause the blood vessels to expand and leak fluid, causing swelling, pain and redness. Without sun protection UV radiation starts to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, causing damage to the DNA in our skin cells. Damage from UV is cumulative and irreparable, therefore once the tan fades, the damage remains, which can result in serious consequences over time.
How are Skcin helping professionals detect skin cancer sooner?
Skcin have developed an online training course, MASCED Pro. This training programme was developed to help bridge the gap in skin cancer training amongst GPs, pharmacists, podiatrists and many other Allied Healthcare Professions.
Our next blog for #SkinCancerandMelenomaAwarenessMonth is contributed by Dija Ayodele, founder of the Black Skin Directory. Dija has written about whether skin cancer risk is determined by skin colour and how to safely protect your skin from the sun.