16/03/2016

Skin Cancer Prevention Action Plan Meeting 2016

It’s going to be a busy few day’s ahead so I am going to give a quick rundown of what happened today. A survey was conducted recently by Helen Corrigan with the cooperation of the ICS, NCCP, Sunsmart and the HSE and out of that survey it was decided to hold a prevention action plan meeting.

We started with a introduction by Kevin O’Hagan of ICS surprisingly Kevin explained that the Irish Cancer Society was born out of a desire by intrested parties to address help needed for skin cancer support.

He introduced Dr Barbara McGrogan from National Cancer Control Program who expressed why the time for action is now. She relayed frightening projected increases in Non Melanoma and Melanoma cases in Ireland. It is expected that cases of melanoma in women will increase 175% and Men 327% by 2040 if desisive action isn’t taken. This is something that will effect somebody we know and love it is important to remember statistics can seem far removed from our everyday lives but there are real people behind the figures. Let’s not let it be a member of our family or extended community as skin cancer is largely preventable with healthy lifestyle choices.

Next up we had Gerry McElwee of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland he gave us a very indept presentation on their prevention strategy it raised lots of ideas for discussion.

It has been agreed that we need to have an implementation group there are many groups at present in Ireland doing great work to spread the message but it needs to be more coordinated and adhere to proper standards.

The aim will be to influence a change Irish people’s attitude towards Sun/UV Safety (not an easy task) we need to get away from the idea that a tan is healthy, we don’t get enough good weather for it to do damage( UV index proves this theory wrong) We don’t advocate that people live like vampires afraid of sunlight but there is vast improvement needed in Irish mindset to sensible sun safety. We also need to improve on Early Detection rates as the earlier a skin cancer is detected the better the outcome for the patients. How do we do this by getting as many diverse groups as possible involved and trained, sporting organisations, primary, secondary and third level education, work place education the list is endless so it is really a call to arms for to tackle this the good will is there, we just need to push forward in one united heave to get across this information to the general public, if anyone feels they can contribute through their club, workplace, organisation please make contact with the Irish Cancer Society

Education, Prevention, Detection, Support