377 Tipperary people were diagnosed with skin cancer last year

Tipperary Star reporter

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377 Tipperary outdoor workers were diagnosed with skin cancer last year

The Irish Cancer Society is wwarning outdoor workers about the need to be sun smart

Figures released by the Irish Cancer Society show that 377 people in Tipperary were diagnosed with skin cancer last year.

With 23 per cent of skin cancer deaths in Ireland coming from the construction, outdoor and farming industries, Tipperary people are being warned by the Irish Cancer Society to take care over the coming months.

UK research shows that working in the sun could lead to one death and around five melanoma cases a week. The report, published in the British Journal of Cancer, said that construction workers diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer had the highest number of deaths (4 in 10), followed by agriculture workers (over 2 in 10).

The society has teamed up with the IFA and the Construction Industry Federation to urge all outdoor workers to protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Launching the campaign, Kevin O’Hagan, cancer prevention manager with the Irish Cancer Society, said: “These figures from the CSO show that in 2014, we had around one death every week in Ireland that is related to sun exposure at work. Coupled with the research from the UK, it shows just how extensive, and unfortunately fatal, sun damage can be for outdoor workers.

“It’s vital that we pay heed to this in Tipperary this summer. You don’t have to be in a Mediterranean country for the sun to do damage to your skin and Irish people need to wise up to that. It would be really useful if work places whose employees work predominately outdoors did a risk assessment and put in place policy in relation to protection from sun exposure”

“Every year in Ireland, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer, and figures show that 377 people were diagnosed in Tipperary. More men than women were diagnosed with 205 men getting skin cancer compared to 172 women. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, everyone should protect their skin and this summer, we can asking people to follow our SunSmart Code for best protection.”

The IFA and the CIF have produced a leaflet for their respective members on how to be safe in the sun and how to reduce their risk of skin cancer. The leaflets will be distributed to farming and construction families and at trade events throughout the summer.