The Marie Keating Foundation launches a Skintervention for people in Ireland

Cancer foundation asks Irish people to be SunSmart

Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are rising faster than any other cancer

The Marie Keating Foundation has launched a Skintervention for people in Ireland. Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are projected to treble by 2040 but nearly all cases of the disease are preventable. The cancer foundation’s Skintervention campaign is reminding people to be SunSmart as overexposure to UV light, primarily from the sun and sunbeds, causes over 90% of melanoma. Every year, over 900 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed and 163 people die from the disease. Speaking at the launch, Liz Yeates, CEO, the Marie Keating Foundation and a melanoma survivor said, “We are a nation of sun worshippers but we want to remind people that no matter what your age or skin type, it is vital to look after your skin. Just one bad sun burn before you are 18 can increase your chances of skin cancer by half. Using a sunbed, even just once, increases your risk of melanoma by as much as 20%.” To help combat the high levels of melanoma in Ireland, the Marie Keating Foundation is launching a new Skintervention video featuring seven Irish people affected by the disease which can be viewed on www.mariekeating.ie/spotthedifference.  In addition, Marie Keating Foundation nurses will be handing out free skin cancer information and free samples of SPF 50 sunscreen throughout the summer, kindly provided by La Roche Posay.

The Marie Keating Foundation is urging people to be SunSmart by following these simple steps:

  • Wear sunscreen– with a high factor SPF (Min 30) and good UVA and UVB protection and apply generously and regularly
  • Seek shade– especially from 11am to 3pm when UV rays are strongest
  • Cover up– with long sleeved clothing and a hat
  • Wear sunglasses– with lenses that have UV protection
  • Never use sunbeds – even just once, as they cause lasting damage
  • Check your skin- look for changes in moles and freckles

Also speaking at the Skintervention launch was Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing Services, the Marie Keating Foundation, who said, “Melanoma is becoming increasingly common in Ireland, and it affects both men and women. However, the good news is you can help prevent it by looking after your skin. You also need to be vigilant by knowing your skin-type and checking your skin on a regular basis. Look out for any changes in moles or freckles. If you notice a change in colour, size or shape, visit your GP as soon as you can because when melanoma is caught early, it can be treated.”

Barbara Brown appears in the Marie Keating Foundation’s Skintervention video. Her sister, Sinead, died from melanoma at the age of 31. Speaking at the launch she said, “Many people think that skin cancer and melanoma are not serious diseases but they can have devastating consequences. If my sister Sinead was here today, she would want you to know that almost all cases of melanoma can be prevented if you just look after your skin by staying out of the sun and wearing high factor SPF. If you know someone who is a sun worshipper, please share this message with them because it could save their life.”

The Skintervention video was created DDFH&B with the kind support of Novartis.