Macmillan provide information and support on sun safety and cancer

mobile bus

Macmillan Cancer Support came to Kent this weekend and want to use the heatwave to highlight information and support on sun safety and skin cancer.

This past weekend Macmillan Cancer Support’s mobile service visited the area, with cancer information specialists on hand to answer questions and provide information. The team encouraged anyone with worries relating to cancer to stop by, whether you’re living with cancer, or care for someone who is. Now that summer is here, the team want to  provide specialist advice and information about sun safety and skin cancer.

The MISS bus will be returning to Kent on the 7th till the 10th August, see their website for more details.


sun safetyTracey Neill, a Macmillan Information and Support Specialist, said:

“Skin cancer, if caught early, is treatable and has one of the highest survival rates of all cancers. Being sun aware is key. Our advice is to avoid sun beds, wear a high SPF sun screen with a four-star rating or more so it will block out UVA as well as UVB rays, and cover up in the sun.”

There are two main types of skin cancer: non melanoma and melanoma.

Around 136,000[1] cases of non melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year which makes it the most common type of cancer by far. It is unlikely to spread, very treatable and the earlier it is diagnosed the easier it is to treat.

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. Around 15,400 people are diagnosed with melanoma in the UK each year. It is more common in people with fairer or freckly skin. Around 27% of new cases occur in people aged 75 and over. Unlike other cancer types, malignant melanoma also occurs relatively often in people of younger ages.


To help keep you safe in the sun, the British Association of Dermatologists advises following these top sun protection tips below:
  • Spend time in the shade during the sunniest part of the day when the sun is at its strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm in the summer months.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and very young children.
  • When it is not possible to stay out of the sun, keep yourself well covered, with a hat, T-shirt, and sunglasses to give you additional protection.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin. Re-apply every two hours and straight after swimming or towelling to maintain protection.
The below guide is a useful tool for checking your skin for the signs of melanoma skin cancer, which you should do once a month. If you have any concerns make an appointment to see your GP.
  • Asymmetry – the two halves of the area may differ in shape
  • Border – the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches
  • Colour – this may be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen
  • Diameter – most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any change in size, shape or diameter to your doctor
  • Expert – if in doubt, check it out! If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS


Signs of non-melanoma skin cancer may include:
  • A scab or sore that won’t heal. It may also bleed occasionally
  • A scaly or crusty patch of skin that looks red or inflamed
  • A flesh coloured, pearly lump that won’t go away and appears to be growing in size
  • A lump on the skin which is getting bigger and that may be scabby
  • A growth with a pearly rim surrounding a central crater, a bit like an upturned volcano
Tracey said:

“We’re also there for anyone else with any worries or concerns, no matter what type of cancer. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed, are going through treatment or are living beyond cancer, feel free to pay us a visit – and we welcome carers, family members and loved ones as well. We can provide information on a range of issues, including different treatments, financial advice, exercise, getting back to work, or what local services might be on offer for you. You can even just stop by for a chat, no appointment needed.”

For further information about Macmillan’s mobile information service, and planned visits, go to


If you were unable to visit the unit but have questions about cancer, visit or call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm). You can find out about Macmillan services near you at

[1] CRUK stats


But that is not all! A local team from the East Cliff GP practice in Ramsgate, have finished the Macmillan South Coast Mighty Hike.

Gruelling heat and challenging terrain could not stop the team from the East Cliff GP Practice, Ramsgate, beating and completing the Macmillan South Coast Mighty Hike on Sunday July 7th.

Tears of joy and relief mixed with celebratory bubbly as the team crossed the finish line in Eastbourne on one of the hottest days of the year. Their huge efforts have also been reflected in their fundraising total which has smashed the target already reaching £4,450.

Zoe Borrie, community nurse, said:

“The heat was intense and the hills, especially Seven Sisters was hideous. When we crossed the finish line the emotions took over and when we heard the event had raised more than £800,000 we felt extremely proud to be part of it.

“I have seen the support that Macmillan offers our patients and their loved ones. This support helps to make the journey of someone living with cancer and loving someone with cancer a little easier.”

Her colleague and team member Samantha Austen, Practice Nurse said. “Cancer affects people of all ages and in many ways and does not come with a manual. This is where Macmillan comes in, it is your manual, it’s your friend and it’s your lifeline.”

Read more about the team (details of the other team members below) and sponsor them at

The 26-mile hike started in Brighton and followed the South Downs Way and ending in Eastbourne. The Mighty Hike is part of 15 fundraising challenges that include another seven marathon-length hikes, two runs and five outdoor swims: anyone is welcome to join #TeamMacmillan and take part in ‘Challenge Events 2018’. Participants are encouraged to ask loved ones for sponsorship and every penny raised will help Macmillan provide emotional, financial, medical and practical support to the growing number of people living with cancer across the UK.


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