North West Cancer Research hand out sunscreen at shopping centres teaching people about sun safety

North West Cancer Research are travelling across the region to raise awareness of the sun safety as part of its new campaign.   

The charity have visited beaches, including Formby beach and various shopping centres handing out sun cream to highlight the importance of protecting your skin against the sun.

As part of their #SunSkinSafe campaign the team visited The Rock shopping centre in Bury.

Cara Newton, Head of Marketing at NWCR said: "We really want people to start using suncream as part of their daily routine, so it becomes as common as brushing your teeth everyday.

"A lot of people are quite good when they go on holiday and they will use sun cream, but here they don't think they need it and they absolutely do.

"We still have UV rays even when it's not sunny and it's actually the same sun whether you're here or abroad."

The charity are also educating people on how prevent skin cancer and check moles.

Melanoma skin cancer is caused by UV light damaging the cells.

Something the chief executive of the charity Alistair only began doing after a mole he had started to raise under his eye.

His Wife and colleagues encouraged him to get the mole checked out.

Alistair Richards, Chief Executive Officer of NWCR said: "I must admit, I looked at it and I just assumed it was a mole and that was benign.

"Then actually the team in the office and my wife started saying to me 'actually you're going out, talking about sun safety, that's something that you should have looked at.''

"I'm afraid I was a typical man and I just said it will be alright."

Alistair's mole turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, a low grade form of skin cancer.

He was diagnosed in March 2021 and had surgery to get it removed in May 2021. He had a skin graft from his neck to cover the patch.

He continued: "The surgery was't painless, it wasn't a fun experience, but actually it has been really effective and it's removed all the cancer.

"Don't wait like I did. Go early and tell your GP about it and they might tell you it's benign and nothing to worry about or you can have it safely removed."

In the UK there are around 16,700 new cases of melanoma skin cancer every year.

That equates to 46 around each day and in the north west melanoma cases are 10% higher than the national average.

North West Cancer Research say the reason for higher cases of cancer in the region could be the use of sun beds and the number of outdoor workers we have in the region.

Using suncream also has some additional benefits.

Cara Newton said: "Using suncream gives you the best anti ageing product that you'll ever get so people across the North West will stay looking fantastic."

In Merseyside specifically, melanoma cases are 10% higher when compared with the rest of England.

Alistair said: “We are confident that by raising awareness of skin cancer signs and symptoms this summer, as well as how it can be prevented, we can help more people stay safe in the sun and reduce the number of skin cancer cases across Merseyside and the North West."

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