YES, you can reduce your risk of cancer. In Ireland over 30,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year, one third of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle. The European Code against Cancer details “12 Ways to Reduce your Cancer Risk”.
Protect Your Skin
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Over 11,000 cases are diagnosed each year, this number is projected to over double by 2045. Yet most skin cancers could be prevented by protecting skin from UV. Most people living in Ireland have fair skin, the type which burns easily and tans poorly, so are at high risk of UV damage and skin cancer.
We need to protect our skin and that of our children. Exposure to UV radiation during childhood is particularly harmful, protecting skin during childhood is extremely important.
The advice is do not try to get a suntan. Avoid getting a sunburn and never use a sunbed.
How to protect your skin:
- Know the UV Index: When the UV index is 3 or above you need to protect your skin. In Ireland, the UV index is usually 3 or above from April to September, even when it is cloudy. Stay safe by limiting time in the sun when UV is strongest, typically between the hours of 11:00am-3:00pm.
- Slip on Clothing: Cover skin as much as possible, wear long sleeves, collared t-shirts, clothes made from close-woven material that does not allow sunlight through.
- Slop on Broad-Spectrum (UVA/UVB) Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, with high UVA protection, and water resistant.
- Reapply regularly. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
- Slap on a Wide Brimmed Hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
- Seek Shade: Sit in cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.
- Slide on Sunglasses: Guard your eyes from harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.
Further Information & Support
Cancer Prevention;World Cancer Research Fund
Diet and Weight;Safefood / Healthy Ireland
Physical Activity;Get Ireland Active
Check the UV index: Met Eireann