As the summer months arrive, health professionals at County
Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust are hosting a series of
roadshow events to make sure we stay safe in the sun.
The Trust's 'Talking about Cancer' (TAC) team will be visiting
community venues and workplaces across the county to raise
awareness of skin cancer and the importance of presenting early to
a GP if people have a potential sign or symptom.
Fiona McQuiston, Health Improvement Lead for County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "Skin cancer is one of the
most common cancers in the UK but there are simple steps that we
can take to help prevent it. The best way to prevent skin cancer is
to avoid too much time in the sun. You don't have to be
sunbathing to get burned. You can get too much sun while walking to
the shops, driving a car with the windows down, even under light
cloud cover. Time of day and location are important too. UV rays
are most intense in the UK between the hours of 11am and 3pm during
the summer months. People should avoid staying in the sun until the
skin goes red, aim to protect the skin by covering up with clothing
and staying in the shade, wearing a broad-brimmed hat which covers
the face, neck and ears and a long sleeved top and trousers. If
possible wear close-weave fabrics".
Fiona continued "Sunscreen is also important, although it
shouldn't be used in replacement of clothing to protect the skin.
Choose a sunscreen which offers both Ultra Violet A (UVA)
protection and Ultra Violet B (UVB) protection. IIn the UK this is
indicated on the bottles by 4 stars and a circular UVA logo with at
least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15 and a higher SPF for babies
and children. Using a sunscreen with a high UVA protection
increases the chance of keeping the skin healthy and young looking.
Use a water resistant sunscreen if contact with water or excessive
sweating is likely to occur."
People need to be aware that applying protection once a day
isn't enough. Fiona explains: "Sun cream should be applied
generously half an hour before and after going out in the sun not
forgetting to apply to head, neck and ears. Re-apply every 2 hours
and after being in water even if using a water resistant cream.
Also re-apply after towel drying.
"Some people are more at risk than others of developing skin
cancer. These include those with fair skin, children and babies
(babies are at greatest risk of burning and should be kept out of
direct sunlight), young people, outdoor workers, people who are
Immuno-suppressed, those with a personal or family history of skin
cancer, people with a lot of moles (more than 50) and people who
put themselves at risk of over exposure to UV light by sunbathing
or using sunbeds.
"Skin cancer among the 15-24year olds is one of the fastest
rising cancers and the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 aims to
protect those under the age of 18 from putting their health at risk
from using sunbeds. Intense bursts of UV radiation can cause damage
to the skin, even after just one use."
To help protect you and your children follow these simple rules
and drop into one of the roadshow events for more information and
• Stick to the shade between 11am and 3pm
• Cover up with clothes, a wide brimmed hat and
• Apply a high-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF15 and three
• Drink plenty of water to avoid overheating
• Avoid using sun lamps or sunbeds
• Monday 1 August,10am - 12:30pm, Newton Aycliffe Leisure
• Monday 1 August 2pm - 3:30pm, Coxhoe Leisure Centre
• Tuesday 2 August 10am - 12pm, Riverside Cricket Ground,
• Tuesday 2 August 2:30pm - 4pm, St Cuthberts Church,
• Wednesday 3 August,10am - 12noon and 1:30pm - 4pm, Newton
Aycliffe Community Centre, St Elizabeth Close, Woodham
• Saturday 6 August 11am - 3pm, Vane Tempest Community Centre,
• Wednesday 10 August 10am - 12pm, Riverside Cricket Ground,
• Wednesday 10 August 1pm - 2:30pm, Sherburn Village Leisure
• Wednesday 10 August, 2:30pm - 4pm, Spennymoor Town
• Thursday 11 August 9am - 2pm, Stanley Market Place
• Thursday 11 August 9:30am - 12noon, 4 Clocks Bishop
• Friday 12 August 10:30am - 1pm, Asda Winbush Way,
• Tuesday 16 August 12noon - 2pm, Adventure Point, Morton
• Tuesday 16 August 3pm - 4:30pm, Barnard Castle Library
• Wednesday 17 August 11am - 3pm, Age UK GOLD Tea Dance,
Market Square, (outside Dolphin Centre) Darlington
• Thursday 18 August 10am - 2pm, Consett Market Place
• Friday 19 August 9:30am - 2pm, Ferryhill Market.
• Monday 22 August 9am - 11am, Meadowfield Leisure
• Monday 22 - 26 August 10am - 3pm, Chester-le-Street Market
Published: 26 July 2011
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community