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“Cover Up, Mate” Campaign

Men who work outdoors in Reading are urged to "Cover up, Mate"

Health experts are urging men across Reading who spend a lot of time outdoors to take measures to protect themselves against the sun’s UV rays to reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Skin cancer rates across the South East are higher than average, and are continuing to rise. Nationally there are around 50 deaths a year due to skin cancer caused by working outdoors in the sun. Of these, construction workers made up the highest number of deaths (44%), followed by agriculture workers (23%). Skin cancer among men in Reading is increasing at an alarming rate – 65% in the past 10 years.

The Cover Up, Mate campaign 2017 between 19th June and 28th August 2017 urges men who spend long periods of time outdoors such as farmers, builders, sportsmen and gardeners to protect themselves against the sun as they are at higher risk of skin cancer.

Research shows that men are worse at protecting themselves from the sun.
A YouGov survey, led by Cancer Research UK, found that more than 50% men than women forget to protect their skin and 75% more men than women are not worried about getting sunburnt.

Cancer Research stats show that:

  • A tan is a sign of skin damage – not health – and may offer only factor 3 protection.
  • Getting painful sunburn, just once every two years, can triple your risk of skin cancer

•   You're at higher risk of skin cancer if you have fair skin, moles or freckles, red or fair hair, or light-coloured eyes; and

•   The highest risk months in the UK are May to September when UV rates are higher.

Men are advised to spend time in the shade, make sure they never burn, cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses and always wear at least factor 15 Sun’s cream.

The earlier skin cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat, so see your GP as soon as possible if any moles or freckles change size or shape.