East Devon ‘blackspot’ for skin cancer

New figures show East Devon is above average for incidents of skin cancer

EAST Devon is a blackspot for malignant melanoma, and in some parts of Devon the incidence rate is double the national average.

New figures released today (Tuesday) by the South West Public Health Observatory show that while people in Devon generally enjoy better than average health, skin cancer rates are among the very worst in England.

While the South Hams records the sixth highest of the 324 local authority areas in England, with Teignbridge 11th, East, Mid and North Devon also appear as significantly worse than the England average.

Rates have been rising over two decades, and NHS Devon, backed by charities and the RNLI, is aiming to raise awareness about the risks of too much sun and encourage people to protect their skin.

SunSafe in Devon campaign urges people to follow simple precautions, which are:

• Wear a hat and sunglasses

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• Keep your shirt on if you are out all day

• Seek shade at the hottest part of the day

• Use sun cream – apply plenty and repeat throughout the day

• Stay away from sun beds

• Check your moles and seek advice if they change

• Make sure children, especially, never burn

More information on the health profiles can be found at www.healthprofiles.info