Skin cancer prevention

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Northern Ireland with the incidences of both non-melanoma and malignant melanoma increasing over recent decades. Over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is widely accepted as the under lying cause for skin cancer, with experts believing that four out of five cases could be prevented by adopting simple precautions. Factors that have been linked with the increase in cases include the popularity of foreign holidays and increased use of sunbeds.

Skin cancer prevention strategy

The 'Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy and Action Plan (2011-21)' was launched in July 2011 and focuses on the prevention and early detection of skin cancer. Its aim is to reduce the incidence of, and deaths from, skin cancer in Northern Ireland. A cross-sectoral group has been established by the Public Health Agency to implement the action plan and work on this is ongoing.

A mid-term review of the strategy was published by the Department in October 2017.

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