Wednesday 13 December 2017

Farmers and construction workers face highest risk of skin cancer

Irish farmers and building workers need to be extra vigilant during the summer months. Getty/Stock Image
Irish farmers and building workers need to be extra vigilant during the summer months. Getty/Stock Image

Chai Brady

Almost one in four (23pc) skin cancer deaths in Ireland is from the construction or farming industries.

Irish farmers and building workers need to be extra vigilant during the summer months, the Irish Cancer Society has said.

Every year in Ireland, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer. Recent figures show that more men than women were diagnosed, with 5,979 men receiving a diagnosis in 2013 compared with 4,796 women.

The society also pointed to UK research which emerged recently showing that working in the sun could lead to one death and around five melanoma cases a week.

The report, in the 'British Journal of Cancer', said builders diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer had the highest number of deaths (4 in 10), followed by farm workers (more than 2 in 10).

As part of its annual SunSmart campaign, the Irish Cancer Society has teamed up with the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to urge all outdoor workers to protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Kevin O'Hagan, cancer prevention manager with the Irish Cancer Society, said recent findings showed "how extensive, and unfortunately fatal, sun damage can be for outdoor workers".

Irish Independent

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