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March, 2017

Check4Cancer and Cigna have been working together for the past 14 months to tackle early detection of breast cancer and skin cancer.

Cigna teamed up with BreastHealth UK, in January 2016 to provide OneStop breast cancer diagnostics and with SkinHealth UK in June 2016 to offer customers rapid access to skin cancer specialists across the UK.

BreastHealth UK and SkinHealth UK are part of Check4Cancer Ltd.

We are proud to announce that for the second year running Check4Cancer and Cigna UK have been shortlisted for ‘Diagnostics care provider of the year’. For more information please see: Health Investor Awards 2017.

July, 2016

New research suggests that a “silent” red hair gene could significantly increase individuals’ risk of skin cancer – and as many as one in four in the UK could be carriers.

The research, led by a team at the Sanger Institute near Cambridge, confirmed that gene variants associated with red hair, pale skin and freckles are linked to a higher number of genetic mutations in skin cancers. The burden of mutations associated with these variants is comparable to an extra 21 years of sun exposure in people without this variant.

July, 2016

With schools having broken up for the summer holidays and long days ahead, it’s more important then ever for parents to consider the impact of sun damage on their children – as a recent story reported in the Daily Mail has brought home.

Jennifer Nicholson, 50, spoke of her heartbreak after her 18-year-old daughter, Freja, died of skin cancer as a result of childhood holidays in the sun. The mother blamed herself for not always applying sunscreen to her daughter's fair skin during the hot British summers of her childhood. Doctors said if she had, Freja might still be alive.

July, 2016

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.”

July, 2016

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.

June, 2016

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. 

May, 2016

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.

May, 2016

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?

February, 2016

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.

September, 2015

Earlier this year, we reported on the new cancer task force, set up to combat long waiting times for diagnoses in England – 25% of which were being made too late. Now, further plans have been unveiled, including a target of 95% of people being given a diagnosis or the all-clear within 28 days of being referred by their GP, by 2020.

Figures released in May showed that more than 21,000 people had not been treated within 62 days of their cancer diagnosis in the last financial year, and the NHS had failed to achieve its own targets for treatment. According to these, 85% of cancer patients should be treated within 62 days of being urgently referred by their GP, but just 83.4% were seen on time in 2014-15. While survival rates have been improving, England still lags behind some of the best performing countries. A cross-party committee of MPs recently warned that England’s cancer services had “lost momentum”.

August, 2015

This summer in the UK has seen days of intense sun alternate with grey skies with startling rapidity. Whilst we might think we’re more at risk from long periods of unrelenting sun, it’s often when it is intermittent that we become more lax – and we cannot afford to be.

Approximately 13,300 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK each year, making it the fifth most widespread cancer. It is also the second most common cancer in young adults (aged 15-34) and 2,100 people die from the disease each year. It is far from being a young person’s disease, however.

August, 2015

This week, the BBC reports on new research findings that demonstrate how even light consumption of alcohol can increase cancer risk – but the risk primarily affects women.

The US research, published in the British Medical Journal this month, is titled “Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer” and sets out “to quantify risk of overall cancer across all levels of alcohol consumption among women and men separately, with a focus on light to moderate drinking and never smokers; and assess the influence of drinking patterns on overall cancer risk.”

August, 2015

A new study has revealed that almost a quarter of cancer patients had to make at least three visits to their GP before being sent to hospital for tests that diagnosed their illness.

The research – published in the European Journal of Cancer Care – was undertaken by academics at Cambridge University who studied the experiences of more than 70,000 patients. They found that a total of 23% had been seen by their GP three or more times before being referred to hospital for further scans, blood tests or investigations which diagnosed the illness.

August, 2015

This week, the BBC reports on new guidelines for diagnosing and treating melanoma skin cancers that have been issued to the NHS in England.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued the guidelines to help end “a wide variation in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease”. They include advice on diagnosing how far the cancer has progressed, on identifying the best treatment and suggest improvements to follow-up care.

July, 2015

This week, Sarah Montague – a night-time presenter for the BBC – investigated the impact of shift work on health, and found that regular disruption of normal sleep patterns can significantly raise your susceptibility to serious illness, including cancer.

In the programme The Night Shift, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 onMonday 27 July,8.00pm-8.30pm, Sarah Montague, explored how sleeping affects our bodies in the company of two fellow night-workers.

July, 2015

In Cancer: The challenge facing the NHS BBC Health Correspondent Nick Triggle reveals the issues ahead for our struggling health service.

The analysis comes after the recent announcement of a new strategy by NHS England’s cancer taskforce aimed at improving cancer care. Figures released in May showed that more than 21,000 people had not been treated within 62 days of their cancer diagnosis in the last financial year. According to NHS targets, 85% of cancer patients should be treated within 62 days of being urgently referred by their GP, but just 83.4% were seen on time in 2014-15. While survival rates have been improving, England still lags behind some of the best performing countries.

July, 2015

Medico-legal experts have warned that UK GPs urgently need extra training to spot melanomas if they are reduce the growing number of legal cases brought against the profession.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) – reported in GP online magazine – has called for GPs to receive better training to improve early diagnosis and referral of melanoma in the light of a rising number of legal complaints. Cases brought against medical professionals for missing or incorrectly diagnosing the disease have doubled in just a decade.

June, 2015

Melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in the UK, killing over 2,000 people in Britain each year, but as with all cancers, early detection remains the single most effective method for increasing chances of survival or achieving cure. Nevertheless, a recent survey of over a thousand people carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists revealed that 96% of us fail to check our skin the recommended once a month for skin cancer, and more than 77% would not recognise signs of the disease.

June, 2015

Research published online in the journal Heart reveals that cancer has overtaken cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, as the UK's No 1 killer – but only among men. Cardiovascular disease is still the most common cause of death among women, and kills more young women than breast cancer, the figures show.

June, 2015

BBC News online reports this week on a revolutionary new treatment for skin cancer, using a genetically engineered version of herpes – the virus responsible for cold sores.

The research, published in full in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, was based on the largest ever randomised trial of an anti-cancer virus. 436 patients from 64 centres in the US, the UK, Canada and South Africa who had inoperable malignant melanoma took part, and according to the researchers the results showed real promise, having the potential to increase survival of some melanoma sufferers by years.

May, 2015

Over a quarter of a middle-aged person’s skin cells may have taken the first step to becoming cancerous, according to a study published in the journal Science this month.

The findings are the result of research by a team at the Sanger Institute, near Cambridge, which was based on analysis of samples from the eyelids of four 55- to 73-year-olds. The study found more than 100 DNA mutations linked to cancer in every 1 sq cm (0.1 sq in) of skin – a far greater proportion than anticipated.

May, 2015

May 2015. In March we reported on figures showing that NHS targets for the treatment of cancer patients had been missed for the first three-quarters of 2014, with 5,500 patients having to wait longer than the specified period for treatment between July and September.

New figures just published by the NHS show this trend to have continued, with more than 21,000 people not having been seen within the 62-day target in the last financial year. According to NHS targets, 85% of cancer patients should be treated within 62 days of being urgently referred by their GP, but just 83.4% were seen on time in 2014-15.

May, 2015

May 2015. A report by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has shown that people in the UK are still burying their heads in the sand when it comes to skin cancer.

The survey of over a thousand people – carried out by BAD and published to coincide with Sun Awareness Week 2015 (4-10 May) – revealed that 96% fail to check their skin the recommended once a month for skin cancer, and more than 77% would not recognise signs of the disease.

May, 2015

May 2015. A recent report on cancer in Scotland has shown that the incidence rate of malignant melanoma of the skin has increased by 30% over the last ten years. 

The findings, issued by the Information Services Division (IDS), a unit of NHS National Services Scotland, formed part of the annual cancer incidence statistics for Scotland, published on 28 April 2015. This publication provides information on cancer incidence in Scotland covering the years 1989-2013 for each main type of cancer. Approximately 45 types of cancer are included, broken down by age group, sex, NHS Board and Cancer Regional Network.

13th April 2015. Last week (10 April) Conservative parliamentary candidate Michael Fabricant revealed that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer.

9th April 2015: New figures released by Cancer Research UK this month show that people over 65 are seven times more likely to develop malignant melanoma than they were 40 years ago.

24th March: Sunscreen is one holiday essential that can often get left behind when people are packing for a winter holiday, so SkinHealth UK are reminding tourists heading for the slopes, not to forget the all-important sunscreen when jetting off for a winter get-away.

6th March: This week, self-confessed tanning addict Laura May McMullan recounted her experience with life-threatening skin cancer.

Laura’s story – Why I regret my years as a tanning addict – appeared in the magazine section of the BBC news website, and in it she tells how she had obsessively pursued a darker and darker tan from the age of 16

February 2015: According to a BBC report, scientists at Yale University have found that the skin damage caused by sunlight continues for hours after initial exposure – and it is skin’s natural protection, the dark pigment melanin, which is responsible.

February 2015: This week saw a BBC news report on cancer that contained shocking news for the UK. ‘Half of UK people will get cancer’ revealed that one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

February 2015: For those considering cutting back on the coffee, a new study by the US government’s health research department could make you think twice.

The research has shown that a higher coffee consumption has been linked with a reduced risk of malignant melanoma – meaning that your daily coffee could in fact be sparing your skin whilst keeping you going!

January 2015: Check4Cancer Ltd (Check4Cancer) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new company employees across its Client Service, Marketing and Finance divisions. Cambridge based Check4Cancer has appointed Lene Farmer as Client Services Manager, Indre Peciunaityte as Marketing Manager and Reka Fogarasi as Finance Assistant.

21st October 2014: The BBC in Salford has become the latest organisation to experience the benefits of early cancer detection through a wellness day featuring early detection of skin cancer at the Media City studios.

SkinHealth UK, early detection of cancer experts, participated at the wellness day in Salford allowing staff to take advantage of a consultation by a nurse practitioner.

August 2014: By Nicky Whiting

The UK has been basking in glorious sunshine for the past two weeks just in time for the summer holidays. However, the Great British summer is perhaps not so great when it comes to the risk of skin cancer.

Exceptionally powerful sun rays are posing a very real risk to Brits, particularly those not practicing sufficient sun protection.

June 2014: By Nicky Whiting

Recent figures regarding the incidence of skin cancer in Liverpool have caused consternation in the city and resulted in a stern response from Liverpool Council and other cancer related charities in the North West area.

June 2014: By Nicky Whiting

A UK study out this week has underpinned expert advice by highlighting that sunscreen alone cannot be relied on to prevent malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

October 2013: The SkinHealth UK team are delighted to welcome Dr Nigel Burrows as Dermatology Director. Consultant dermatologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge since 1997, Dr Burrows’ special clinical interests include management of benign and malignant skin lesions. Read more here

18th march 2013: Cambridge based ‘SkinHealth UK’ donate £3,000 to national charity ‘SKCIN’ to promote awareness, prevention and early detection of skin cancer in the UK

Read more: Press release

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