It is the time of year to have fun in the sun but are you doing it safely? Yeovil Hospital teamed up the Sherborne Castle Country Fair to ensure fair-goers had the chance to learn more about risks of being in the sun.

More than 100 visitors to this year’s country fair took the opportunity to visit the stand hosted by Yeovil Hospital’s specialist team to get their moles checked over with full examinations available in private cubicles and plenty of great advice from the experts.

The event enjoyed fantastic weather and proved to be a great success with the Yeovil Hospital team working alongside local GPs from Queen Camel Medical Centre and Newland Surgery, Sherborne.

Consultant Dermatologist Dr Jibu Varghese said: “The whole team was hands-on in examining patients and it was a great opportunity for the hospital’s dermatology department to build close contacts with the primary care services. The GPs also found this day very useful as they were able to receive further education in recognising benign and malignant skin lesions by using the dermatoscope.

“I would like to particularly take this opportunity to thank the excellent contribution from our cancer nurse specialist Ivona Ramoiu who was supported by Senior Nurse and Cancer Business Manager Luke Curtis and Senior Sister Anna Hanford. We also had excellent support from local GPs from Queen Camel Medical Centre and Newland Surgery, Sherborne.”

The team saw approximately 108 members of the public who came to be screened for various skin lesions and detected two melanomas and at least a couple of pre-malignant lesions. The patients who had the melanomas were asked to contact their GPs at the earliest opportunity for further treatment.

Dr Jibu Varghese added: “We also found the event extremely useful for reassuring patients who had benign lesions, which was about 80 per cent of the patients they saw, and will hopefully impact on the fast-track wait times around the region.”

The aim of this skin cancer awareness day was to educate as many people as possible regarding skin self-examination for early detection of skin cancers and safe sun exposure. Alongside people queuing to have their moles checked the team also gave out 500 Sun Safety and Skin Cancer leaflets and lots of sun screen samples.

In the year we celebrate the NHS turning 70, it is great to look at the difference in cancer survival rates over the years. The survival rates for malignant melanoma in men have increased from 75 per cent during 1971-1972 to 97 per cent during 2010-2011 in England and Wales, with increases in one-year survival rates in women from 87 per cent to 98 per cent over the same time period.

PHOTO: Dr  Helen Huins, Ivona Ramiou, Luke Curtis,  Anna Hanford, Dr Simon Huins and Dr Jibu Varghese

The Cover-Up Mate campaign 2018

  • Did you know skin cancer affects more men than it does women? Men who work outdoors are at even greater risk!
  • The best protection against the sun is a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.
  • Excessive sun exposure leaves you at a higher risk of skin cancer in later life
  • Sunscreen is not an alternative to covering up! Long sleeves, hats and sunglasses are also very important!
  • Light-coloured eyes? A history of sunburn? A family history of skin cancer? All these factors increase your skin cancer risk.
  • Sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer.
  • 1 in 54 people will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma (skin cancer) during their lifetime.

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This post was written by Communications Team

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