Cover Up Mate Campaign 19th June 28th August 2017

Men who spend long periods of time outdoors are being urged to protect themselves against the sun this summer amid a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in the South of England.

Farmers, builders, sportsmen and gardeners are all being targeted by NHS England South’s ‘Cover Up, Mate’ campaign because of their prolonged exposure to the sun – and men are a particular focus because research indicates that they are much less likely than women to slap on the sunscreen.

Latest statistics from Cancer Research show that since the late 1970s, skin cancer incidence rates have more than quadrupled (360% increase) in Great Britain. The increase is larger in males where rates have increased more than six-fold (544% increase), than in females where rates have more than tripled (263% increase).

Latest statistics from Public Health England show that in the South West there was a 31.9% rise in incidence of malignant melanoma between 2009 and 2014, from 1,444 cases to 1,906 cases. There was also a 14.5% rise in mortality from malignant melanoma, from 248 deaths in 2009 to 284 deaths in 2014.

In the South East there was a 32.9% rise in incidence of malignant melanoma between 2009 and 2014, from 2,002 cases to 2,661 cases. There was also a 20.3% rise in mortality from malignant melanoma, from 349 deaths in 2009 to 420 deaths in 2014.

Many local areas across the South have higher rates of malignant melanoma than the national average.

Top sun safe tips include:

  • Use at least factor 15 sunscreen in the sun and use plenty of it
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin – don’t forget your neck and ears and your head if you have thinning or no hair
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat
  • Take particular care if have fair skin, moles or freckles, red or fair hair, or light-coloured eyes.

BBC News:

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