Simon Maguire
Simon Maguire

17.23 27 May 2019


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The number of people diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland is set to double over the next 25 years.

Skin cancer is the country's most common type of cancer, with 11 thousand people diagnosed annually.

The Health Minister is looking at reducing the cost of sun cream and placing further restrictions on sunbeds.

Dr. Triona McCarthy from the National Cancer Control Programme says people aren't taking the warnings about tanning seriously.

"Over a third of people have said that it's worth getting a burn in order to get a tan," she said, adding: "And, that's something I think we need to work on with people that maybe they don't appreciate that it's more than just getting burnt - it's actually the long term affects as well, in terms of your risk of developing skin cancer."

The Irish Cancer Centre today welcomed the launch of the first skin cancer prevention plan for Ireland.

Cancer Prevention Manager at the Irish Cancer Society, Kevin O'Hagan said: "Between 2005 and 2015 there was a 70% increase in the incidence of skin cancer in Ireland with 11,785 cases diagnosed in 2015.

"If we don't all take action to look after our skin, the number of skin cancers in Ireland is projected to double by 2045.

"The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 understood the need for a co-ordinated approach to tackling this major health issue, and the launch of this plan today sees a key recommendation of the Strategy being achieved.

"But how effective the plan will be at preventing skin cancer and saving lives will depend on how well it is resourced.

"We all need to take skin cancer seriously. The Irish Cancer Society has long advocated for a national skin cancer prevention plan.

"We are now calling on the Government to ensure that funding and resources are made available so that it can be fully implemented," he added.


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