During a recent island-wide skin cancer awareness campaign, Cypriots were advised to protect themselves from the sun.
This year, the Cyprus Society of Dermatology and Venereology (CSDV) organised a series of skin cancer awareness events along with sponsor Eau Thermale Avene Cyprus. Presentations took place in Nicosia and Limassol and it is estimated that over 1,000 people received information about skin cancer.
Like every year, free screenings for melanoma were offered by dermatologists on International Melanoma Day in May.
“People were interested in finding out more about melanoma and how to protect themselves. The audience enjoyed the bracelets they got as a gift which measure sun exposure and remind them to wear their sunscreen,” said Louiza Palloura, of Cubix Minds, who was in charge of the event promotion.
“They also enjoyed walking on the infographics corridor and learning about the behaviour of people regarding the sun in Europe,” she added.
The large infographics floor mat also included a reminder that high levels of harmful UV rays exist everywhere – not just on the beach – even on cloudy days.
The damage caused by UV rays is permanent and may not be visible; it accumulates and can lead to skin cancer.
Being sunburnt just five times, for example, doubles your risk of melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer which develops from the pigment-containing cells.
Protection and prevention
Wearing protective clothes and sunglasses, avoiding direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm during summer, seeking shade and regularly applying sunscreen are the main recommended means of UV protection. But make sure to get a good sun screen as lots of sun screens contain alcohol and other dangerous ingredients that are also carcinogenic.
Special care should be taken to protect children as overexposure to the sun during childhood increases the lifelong risk of skin cancer.
It is recommended to supplement annual check-ups by a dermatologist by checking one’s skin once a month applying the ABCDE rule which says to check for spots that are Asymmetric, have indistinct or uneven Borders, change Colour, are larger than 6 mm in Diameter or have evolved in size, shape or behaviour over time.
The website www.euromelanoma.org features a skin self-examination guide.