Check4Cancer & Cigna finalists for second year in ‘Best Diagnostics Provider’ category at Health Investor Awards
When considering skin damage and our risk of melanoma we are used to thinking about what comes from above – potentially damaging UV radiation in sunlight – but new research suggests we should also be looking beneath our feet.
The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and entitled Melanomas and Mechanical Stress Points on the Plantar Surface of the Foot, identifies other types of damage which can lead to skin cancer. As the reports introductory summary explains: “Sun exposure is widely recognized as the main causative factor in cutaneous melanoma. However, melanomas also emerge in areas of the skin (such as palmoplantar surfaces) that are not exposed to the sun ... Here we report on a series of patients with melanomas that developed in areas of plantar surfaces that had the most mechanical stress.”
Extended periods of sunshine may be as difficult as ever to predict during the Great British summer – but that gives us all the more reason to keep in mind our risk of skin cancer.
When the weather is hot and sunny, the intense UV radiation from the sun’s rays can pose a very real threat and adequate sun protection is required. Variable weather can lull us into a false sense of security, however, with cloudy or rainy periods making is feel we don’t need to bother with sun protection. Even short periods of exposure can put us at risk, however.
Cigna UK HealthCare Benefits (Cigna) and SkinHealth UK have formed an alliance to offer Cigna customers skin cancer diagnostics beginning June 2016. This new service offers customers rapid access to skin cancer specialists.
New research shows that 25 percent of all cancer sufferers see their General Practitioner (GP) three times before being referred for further tests.¹ With Cigna’s new service, customers can self-refer for a skin cancer diagnostic appointment within five working days.
The incidence of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer continues to rise, with 14,509 cases of melanoma registered in the UK in 2013. The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer is not currently recorded in the UK, but it is in excess of 100,000 per annum and rising. Despite much publicity about the risk of exposure to UV radiation, figures from the Heath & Safety Executive indicate that in the near future exposure to solar radiation will become one of the main causes of occupational cancer.
To mark Skin Cancer Awareness Month (May), Per Hall, Clinical Advisor for SkinHealth UK, talks about skin cancer awareness, risk factors and how our attitudes need to change.
People have become much more aware of the dangers of UV exposure in recent years, and the precautions we can take against it are relatively simple – but are people as aware as they should be?
Whilst we often complain about grey winter days, winter sun can bring hidden dangers – especially for those enjoying winter sports.
According to Cancer Research UK there is strong evidence to show that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main preventable cause of skin cancers – both malignant melanoma and non- melanoma skin cancers (NMSC). Sunbeds produce artificial UV radiation, but the sun is the principal source of natural UV radiation. A study published in 2011 estimated that 86% of melanomas in the UK (around 11,100 cases) every year are linked to too much exposure to sunlight and sunbed use.