Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, here’s how to prevent it

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland with nearly 13,000 cases a year.

However, it is largely preventable by protecting our skin from the sun and other man-made sources.

Laura Moloney was chatting on Ireland AM on Friday, recounting how she was diagnosed with skin cancer when she was 19.

“I really had no idea what it was, it started in 2008.

Photo: Virgin Media TV

“I was around 16 when it happened and was diagnosed at 19,” revealed Kate, who is cancer free.

She explained the signs of leaving: “It started as a freckle, there was a bump on top, and I just picked it up, and it bled for a while, then it hardened.

“In about three years, it hardened into a black, bumpy, itchy growth, it was about the size of a two-cent piece.”

Kate revealed to hosts Simon and Elaine that the Doctor knew immediately “by looking at him”.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, although the weather is generally relatively bad. Photo: Virgin Media TV

“Everything was fine for a few years, and it came back to my lymph nodes.”

Kate reveals that the cancer came back near her groin, and she wouldn’t have known anything different only for her surgeon to make her aware of the possibility of it coming back.

Kate said: “I thought it was an ingrown hair, again I denied!”

Kate reveals that on both occasions, surgery was the best way to go.

Cancer survivor Kate was on Ireland AM on Friday morning to raise awareness about skin cancer or melanoma. Photo: Virgin Media TV

Despite a huge battle, Kate reveals she’s “in a great place now.”

Consultant dermatologist Professor Anne-Marie Tobin accompanied Kate on the show, to urge people to be aware of ‘signs of skin cancer’.

“Kate sets a very good example of pigment change or freckles, and it shouldn’t be ignored,” Professor Tobin urged to share the ABCDE method.

Professor Anne-Marie Tobin has shared the ABCDE method to check your moles. Photo: Virgin Media TV

“So A is if the area enlarges, b is if the outline of a mole changes, c is if a color changes, and d is its diameter and size.

She added: “And e is evolution, so moles change.”

She added that people should also be aware of any new moles, although it is also quite common for melanoma to occur in existing moles.

The HSE has developed a Skin Cancer Prevention Plan, in conjunction with the National Skin Cancer Foundation.

skin cancer, melanoma
Professor Anne-Marie Tobin insisted on the importance of wearing effective clothing and sun hats. Photo: Virgin Media TV

“The main thing people know about the five S’s,” Professor Tobin revealed.

Professor Tobin said it was very important to wear effective clothing and sun hats, especially for men who have suffered from hair loss.

“Use your sun factor – at least 30 for adults and 50 for children,” Professor Tobin warns.

Seeking shade and sunglasses are also important factors to consider when protecting yourself from the sun.

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