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Local NHS promotes outdoor workers to “Cover Up, Mate” to reduce risk of skin cancer

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Health experts are urging men in South Reading who spend a lot of time outdoors to protect themselves against the sun, to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

The NHS “Cover Up, Mate” encourages sun safety such as sun cream protection or covering up wisely whilst in the sun, targeting men who spend long periods of time outdoors like agricultural and construction workers, gardeners and sports-players – who often don’t use suncream.

UV levels in the UK are usually highest between April and October, particularly between 11am and 3pm. Clouds don’t always stop UV rays, and unlike the sun’s warmth, it’s difficult to know when they may be causing harm.

Public Health England figures show that between 2005 and 2014, incidence of malignant melanoma in men alone rose by 65.6% in Reading.

Dr Kajal Patel, Federated GP Cancer Lead for the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We’re showing our support to the ‘Cover Up, Mate’ campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of being in the sun without protection.

“Going into shade, wearing clothing and sunglasses, and using at least factor 15 sunscreen on all exposed skin with good UV-A protection, will all help reduce the risks agricultural and construction workers face.”

David Kilby, Operations Director at Jewson, said: “With construction workers often outside for long periods of time they can be at a much higher risk of exposure to UV rays than most. We’re showing our support to the Cover Up, Mate campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of being in the sun without protection.”

Anyone who notices a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin, should tell their doctor. The earlier skin cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat. More information on spotting the symptoms of skin cancer is available online from the NHS.

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