herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Dubliners face a higher risk of getting skin cancer

DUBLINERS are among those most at risk of developing skin cancer in Ireland, according to new research.

The latest data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) indicates that residents of Ireland's largest cities -- Dublin and Cork -- and of some coastal counties -- Kerry, Mayo and Donegal -- had a higher incidence of the disease.

The study, published by the British Journal of Dermatology, looked at many factors contributing to the risk of developing the two most common forms of skin cancer over a 10-year period.

Sun exposure was one of the main risks identified but less obvious causes such as socio-economic situations were also considered to reflect the main differences observed between basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal cell cancer is the most common type of skin cancer which is associated with sunburn and intermittent sun exposure, while squamous cell cancer is more often linked with long-term exposure to sun.



affluent

According to statistics from the NCRI, wealthier people were considerably more likely to develop basal cell cancer than those in less affluent areas.

City-dwellers also had a much higher risk, notably those staying in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford, as well as people living in coastal regions, particularly in the south and west of the country.

Gender disparities were also noted in the study as women in the city were almost at a 50pc higher risk than their rural counterparts, while city men only had a 35pc higher risk.

The report suggests that well-off and urban people were more prone to the disease because of their activities.

These residents were thought to be more likely to go overseas for their holiday, to sunnier countries, and they also had greater access to potentially-dangerous sunbeds.

According to the study, the higher incidence of skin cancer in coastal regions could also be explained by age-related migration.

Older, more affluent people seemed more prone to move to these areas later in life and this seemed to affect statistics for people living on the coast.

The less common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, had a greater incidence among residents of coastal areas in the south, west and north-east of Ireland.

It was also more prevalent among men who are more likely to be exposed to the sun continuously if working outdoors, such as farming.

The National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700 is open weekdays.

hnews@herald.ie

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