A man diagnosed with malignant melanoma is appealing to people not to underestimate the Irish sun.
35 year old Conor Graham received the skin cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
So he's is now appealing to others to take care during the heatwave.
As the #heatwave continues, it’s important to watch out for signs of heatstroke. Those most at risk are:
✅People with underlying health conditions
✅People with dementia
Check in on elderly neighbours and relatives and keep children safe in the sun. pic.twitter.com/87UxKwYqEa
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) July 22, 2021
What Is Melanoma?
According to the Health Service Executive, Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.
This means it can be more serious than non-melanoma skin cancer, but it is less common.
The HSE says Doctors diagnose around 1,100 new cases of melanoma each year.
While over 25% of cases are in people under the age of 50, which is "unusually early" compared to other cancers.
Take Breaks Away From The Sun
So Conor says people need to protect their skin, and also check for any changes:
"Please don't under estimate the Irish sun."
"Do take regular breaks indoors, in the shade and reach for your high factor suncream."
"Certainly from my own personal experience, get looking at your skin at a regular basis."
"You only have one skin."
"So if something changes, colour, diameter or size, please get in contact with your GP and push for an appointment."
"From an early detection point of view, it certainly saved me."
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
So the HSE says the most common sign is a new mole, or a change in an existing mole.
This could happen anywhere on your body.
However, the most common places are the back in men, and legs in women.
Look out for a mole which changes progressively in shape, size and/or colour.
What Causes Melanoma?
The HSE says, Melanoma is caused by skin cells that begin to develop abnormally.
So exposing your skin to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is thought to cause most melanomas.
However, there's evidence to suggest that some may result from sunbed exposure.
See your GP if you notice any change to your moles.
The HSE has also compiled some advice on how to Stay Sun Smart.