Archives for posts with tag: melanoma

Back in 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma. I had a small, painless, black mole on the side of my neck and like most Irish males, I tried to ignore it. It was only after a lot of prodding from close friends and family that I actually did something about it.

Two operations and biopsies later, I realised that I had dodged the bullet. The melanoma had not spread to my lymph nodes. After multiple trips to the consultants in the intervening years, I have had no re-occurrances, either primary or secondary.

Because of our skin type, Irish and British people are among the most susceptible to melanoma in the world. It is one of the leading killers of people under the age of 30. The incidence of melanoma is increasing worldwide and if it is not caught early, your survival chances are minimal.

This Canadian public announcement tells you all you need to know. Check your moles, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, don’t wait to seek help if you notice something abnormal.

Image via Uniform Velocity

Image via Uniform Velocity

According to the Irish Times today, 42% of men in Ireland never use sun protection.

This is madness. We shouldn’t take the sun for granted. It is a killer, as 5,000 Irish people are finding out each year. All it takes is one small mole on your body to go a different colour or shape, and you could be in big trouble. Once a cancerous mole reaches the lower layers of the skin, the cancer can quickly spread around the body, virtually guaranteeing your early demise.

Most of us Irish have the wrong skin. It’s doesn’t tan, it burns. It’s replete with vulnerable moles and other blemishes. And, after prolonged exposure, it can kill you.

The answer? Stay out of the sun as much as possible and wear high factor sunscreen. Oh yeah, and have someone check out the moles on your skin. You might thank them one day for saving your life.

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