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Skin Cancer Breakthrough

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:26am 14th November 2012 (Updated 7:27am 14th November 2012)

A Cornish dad who lost his daughter to skin cancer has welcomed new research.

Teams at Truro and Tremough are growing a model of human skin to try to understand how melanoma spreads.

The Duchy has some of the highest rates in the country.

Peter Kaye from Falmouth says Becca died years after being sunburnt while she was windsurfing.

He has told Pirate FM how she had an infected mole removed, but the disease came back: "We know so little about melanoma develops. Is it down to the sun; question mark. Is it down to burning; not totally certain. How much sunshine do we need? How much burning can we tolerate? We do not know this.

"Why is it that you can have sunburn and then twenty years later a mole will change, linked back to that sunburn? Why is it staying dorment in the skin for so long? Why, when you've had a mole removed, can secondaries return?"

The project is being carried out at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health.


Spokesman Dr Ben Wheeler says: "From a clinical point-of-view we need to understand better how to identify it earlier and we know that if we get to it earlier, we can do better with treatment. But also to understand exactly what's going on; what are the things that actually cause melanoma?"

Cornwall's Sun Safe project offers people the following advice on staying safe in the sun:

  • Cover up
  • Apply a SPF 15+ UVA/UVB 5 star suncream every 2 hours (SPF 30+ for fair-skinned and children)
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Seek shade during peak times: 11am-3pm
  • Drink lots of water and stay hydrated
  • Don't burn

Click here for more advice.

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