Skin cancer – you’re not just at risk during summer

Among NMSCs, an estimated 50-70% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 50-90% of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) in fair-skinned people are caused by UV radiation. The risk of melanoma is most strongly linked to intermittent sun exposure, and non-melanoma skin cancers (BCCs and SCCs) are both linked to chronic sun exposure. The risk of BCCs is also linked to intermittent sun exposure. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed an international UV index to reflect the strength of the sun’s rays or level of UV radiation at the earth’s surface. The level of UV radiation gives an indication of the risk of burning or adverse health effects – the greater the UV index value, the greater the potential for damage and the less time it takes for this damage to occur – and it’s not just strong summer sun that can cause problems. The strength of UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface is affected by several factors, such as time of day (the sun being strongest at solar noon), time of year (the sun being strongest in the summer) and latitude (being strongest in locations nearer the equator). winter sunWhile these factors are well known, certain others are not. Altitude, for example, can play a significant part; according to Cancer research UK figures, spending time at high altitude – such as when skiing – increases UV exposure by about 15% for every 1000 metres. At an altitude between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be up to 45% more intense than at sea level. There is also the issue of reflection. About 15% of sunburning rays are reflected back from sand, 10% from concrete and 5-10% from water (depending on choppiness). But snow can reflect up to 85% of the UV radiation that hits it, significantly increasing a person’s risk. Even cloudy skies are no guarantee of protection. 30-40% of UV radiation can still penetrate through cloud cover; if half the sky is covered in clouds, 80% of UV radiation still shines through. Per Hall, Clinical Director at SkinHealth UK and a pioneer in the early detection of melanoma, comments: “People are generally quite aware of the risk of hot summer sun, partly because during summer we tend to expose more skin and can feel the sun’s heat on it. Damaging UV radiation cannot be felt on the skin, however, and while we tend to wrap up against the cold in winter, our faces can end up being exposed for long periods, during which serious damage can occur. This is especially the case if we are involved in winter sports – perhaps at high altitude, with UV being reflected back at us by the surface of the snow – but even regular winter walks can raise our risk. We need to think about proper skin protection in all circumstances, all year round.”
About SkinHealth UK At SkinHealth UK, we know that early detection of skin cancer is crucial and saves lives. This is why we offer state of the artskin cancer screeningin private clinics across the UK for individuals and corporates wishing to offer occupational health screening to their employees. Our service offers: Mole screening and skin examination service for early detection of skin cancers OneStop Clinic – A more detailed check where further diagnosis is required and mole removal can take place Why choose SkinHealth UK? Backed by a team of specialist nurses and consultants we believe our services offer you the following benefits:
  • Our clinical staff is very experienced and of master degree level
  • Our skin cancer screening service offers early detection and a treatment path that leads to successful treatment outcomes.
  • We provide results from our mole screening service within 5 days so that any issues can be addressed quickly.
  • We use state-of-the-art screening equipment at our clinics including dermoscopy to ensure we provide accurate and reliable results.
  • We can handle the entire treatment process from detection to mole removal so that you don’t have to deal with lots of different healthcare providers.
  • We can provide our services without a GP referral so you can arrange an appointment when it is convenient to you.
  • We are opening new clinics across the UK all the time so that you can find a skin cancer clinic convenient for you (click here [insert link] for latest clinics.
  • Our service is quick – no long waiting lists and consultation usually take no more than 30 minutes.
  • You can choose to have any abnormalities dealt with by us or can go to the NHS should you prefer.
  • We offer cancer detection and awareness in the workplace services so that you can implement early detection schemes for your employees.
Privacy and confidentiality is ensured throughout the process and SkinHealth UK is regulated by the Care Quality Commission.