Skin Cancer Awareness Month: New Information Video


This May marks Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and to support this, the Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) have launched a new information video resource for people affected by skin cancer. The video resource, presented by Dr Rupert Barry, Consultant Dermatologist, St James’s Hospital, provides information on what causes skin cancer; who gets skin cancer; how we fare in Ireland regarding skin cancers; how we lesson our risk of skin cancer; Melanoma and what to look for; and how to get diagnosed if concerned.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. It develops when the genetic material (DNA) inside skin cells is damaged, triggering changes that lead these cells to multiply rapidly and become cancerous.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Yet in most cases, it is preventable and early detection leads to better outcomes. The vast majority of these cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), mainly from sunlight, although UV from artificial sources (e.g. sunbeds) can also cause skin cancer.

There are two main categories: non-melanoma skin cancer (comprising of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) and malignant melanoma. Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is not the most common but raises the greatest concern as it can spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes difficult to treat and can be fatal.

A majority of people in Ireland have fair skin which burns easily and tans poorly, so are particularly vulnerable to sun damage and skin cancer.

The most obvious warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth, a sore that will not heal, a new and changing mole, or the change in appearance of an existing mole.

We want everyone in Ireland to learn to Protect & Inspect their skin! To learn more visit our information booklets page to download our ‘Protect & Inspect’ resources and our ‘Everyone Under the Sun’ booklet.