[Skip to Content]
Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

May Marks the Fight Against Skin Cancer: WUTH’s Call to Action for Prevention and Early Detection

As May ushers in its balmy days, it also casts a spotlight on the pressing issue of skin cancer. The observance of Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a timely reminder for us to prioritise prevention and early detection.

Cancer Research UK's alarming statistics reveal that melanoma skin cancer diagnoses have soared to an unprecedented 17,500 cases annually. Forecasts warn of a potential 50% surge in the coming two decades.

Penny Fray, a communications advisor for Wirral University Teaching Hospital, exemplifies the unpredictable nature of the disease. Despite her cautious approach to sun exposure, she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma during Covid.

"The accidental discovery of a large, suspicious looking mole on my upper back was shocking," she said. "I received prompt treatment, but the remaining scar is a sobering symbol of the disease's indiscriminate reach."

Dawn Miller, a Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, highlights the urgency of early detection.

"While some skin cancers, including certain types of melanomas, can be life-threatening due to their potential to metastasise, others like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are generally less likely to spread and can often be effectively managed with early intervention,” she said. “Awareness is key to empowering people to spot early signs and seek immediate medical help.”

Skin protection is crucial. Engaging in regular self-examinations, practicing sun safety, and applying sunscreen correctly are vital preventative measures.

Lianne Jackson, a Skin Cancer Nurse Specialist at Clatterbridge’s Dermatology Unit, reinforces this advice. "Perform a detailed skin check every month. Be on the lookout for any new or altered moles, non-healing areas, or other atypical signs," she said.

Lianne's own discovery of a Basal Cell Carcinoma under her eye, last May, highlights the importance of attentiveness. She underwent successful surgery, though it left a visible reminder of her experience.

As we relish the warm embrace of May, let us also commit to safeguarding our skin. Collective efforts in skin cancer prevention can lead to a healthier, safer future for everyone.