menu ☰
menu ˟

Major conference tackles skin cancer problem


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Northern Ireland, with around 3,330 developing it every year, so a major conference taking place in Belfast today has looked at what is being done to prevent it.The 'Preventing Skin Cancer - What is Your Role?' conference, hosted by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in partnership with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland allowed people working in the health, environmental health, education, outdoor employment, outdoor sport, leisure and beauty sectors to come together to hear about and discuss what is happening in Northern Ireland regarding skin cancer prevention. The conference also provided the backdrop for the relaunch of the skin cancer prevention website. Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health at the PHA, explained: "The number of cases of malignant melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer, in Northern Ireland has almost trebled in the past 25 years, highlighting that action needs to be taken now."The conference examined the work that is being carried out to prevent and encourage early detection of skin cancer. Those attending the conference heard of initiatives being taken by employers and key developments being progressed by schools to promote skin cancer prevention. Also included in the programme was a reflection on the success of the sunbed legislation one year on, as well as a personal account by a local woman on being diagnosed and treated for skin cancer."Gerry McElwee, Head of Cancer Prevention, Cancer Focus, said: "We are delighted to be able to launch the new website at today's conference. Our new Care in the Sun site has been redesigned and provides an excellent source of information, designed to appeal to all ages."The site also contains specific information for schools, parents, young people, outdoor workers and others who spend a lot of time outdoors." Some simple messages, however, remain the same for all: Seek shade and avoid prolonged exposure when the sun is at its strongest - generally 11am to 3pm.Cover up when in the sun with a T-shirt, sunglasses and a hat.Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 for UVB protection and 4 star for UVA protection. Take extra care with children as their skin is often more sensitive and easily burned.Don't use sunbeds.Check regularly for any changes to moles.Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA said: "Substantial progress has been made in the area of skin cancer prevention. However, we will continue to see rising rates of skin cancer for some time, due to the amount of sun exposure people have already had.  That is why I would encourage everyone to be aware of changes in their skin and to report any changes to their GP. Early detection can save lives."In July 2011 the Department of Health published a new ten-year skin cancer prevention strategy and action plan, with the PHA leading on its implementation. If you are concerned about skin cancer you can call the Cancer Focus free information and support helpline on 0800 783 3339 or email one of the charity's nurses on





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2013) Major conference tackles skin cancer problem [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 28th February 2020].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Public Health Agency
Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.