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Skin Cancer

Are you a 'young, affluent city-dweller'? (If 'yes' - maybe read this)

Why you need to cover-up in the city – even on these sunny-but-cloudy summer days.

Updated at 10.30am

THE IRISH CANCER Society has issued a fresh warning to sun-seekers, as the country looks set to (finally) enjoy a spell of fine summer weather.

It’s set to top 20 degrees most days this week (and up to 22 degrees on Thursday) – and the forecast for the weekend is looking pretty good too.

However, this is typically Irish summer weather – meaning there’s plenty of cloud and the odd bit of drizzle around too, amid the warm weather.

The Cancer Society’s advice? Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the clouds.

Research from ICS showed ultraviolet (UV) levels across Ireland were high enough to cause skin damage on almost 90 per cent of the days between April and September last year (most cases of skin cancer are caused by UV radiation, which comes from the sun).

UV rays can’t be seen or felt and up to 90 per cent of UV rays can get through even light cloud.

“Most people think they don’t need to take care of their skin when in Ireland but the truth is very different,” Cancer Prevention Officer Rosemary Scott warned.

Even on cloud and cool days, from April to September, UV levels in Ireland can be high enough to damage skin and increase skin cancer risk.

“We want people to ask themselves ‘what can I do to protect my skin and be safer in the sun’.”

shutterstock_137268032 Shutterstock / brickrena Shutterstock / brickrena / brickrena

The society is calling on organisations involved in outdoor sport and work activities to think about what they can do to help reduce their members’ UV exposure.

“It’s not just people who spend more time outdoors who need to take care when outdoors,” Scott said

“In recent years young city dwellers, with intermittent sun exposure, have been seen to be more at risk and greater numbers are presenting to their doctor with skin cancer each year.

If you are outdoors watching sport, doing the gardening or just sitting in the park you need to take care too and not let UV rays catch you out.


Ireland has the highest reported incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in Europe – and the number of diagnosed new cases of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in this country reached over 10,000 for the first time in 2011 (an 81% increase in incidence since records began in 1994).

The largest increase in cases was found in young people who live in affluent urban settings who are exposed to repeated sunburn, probably from leisure activities.

What should you do?

You know the drill: wear sunscreen, cover up, seek shade in the middle of the day, and keep young children out of the sun.

More details at the Irish Cancer Society website.

Read: Cyclists and truck drivers are being told to look out for each other to stop road deaths >

Read: Suncream at the ready: Temperatures will reach 20 degrees this week > 



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