We’re supporting the ‘Watch your Back’ skin cancer campaign

Thursday 3rd May 2018

We’re supporting the ‘Watch your Back’ skin cancer campaign

Siva Kumar and Sam Orkar, both consultant plastic surgeons here at the Queen Victoria Hospital, have again given their clinical expertise to a sun protection campaign for gardeners called ‘Watch Your Back!

The campaign devised by the Melanoma Fund (formerly the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund), has had the support of our melanoma and skin cancer team for many years. This year the theme is ‘don’t be ridiculous… Watch Your Back’ to urge people to think twice about their sun habits in the garden.

It’s also gained the support of celebrity gardeners including David Domoney, Adam Frost, Mark Lane and David Stevens, and will feature in over 220 garden centres from this month.

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the UK and one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. The campaign is targeted at all gardeners but specifically men over the age of 50, who are 70 percent more likely to develop melanoma, typically on their backs and in areas that are hard to spot. This makes the warning signs easier to miss, and leads to later diagnosis.

Siva Kumar and Sam Orkar have created helpful tips, facts and advice for the campaign, to encourage people to protect, detect and prevent, including:

  • top sun protection tips for gardeners
  • melanoma and men: top 10 facts
  • the ABCDE code for spotting skin cancer
  • advice on skin checking

They said: “When melanoma begins to grow downwards into the deeper layers of skin and beyond it is at risk of spreading to other parts of the body. So if you have a mole that is getting bigger, particularly if it has an irregular edge, it is important to go and get it checked…immediately.”

Our melanoma and skin cancer team will be joining the Melanoma Fund at a series of free skin check clinics including:

Sunday 13 May – Hillier Garden Centre, Horsham
Saturday 19 May – Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks
Sunday 20 May – Hillier Garden Centre, Pevensey
Saturday 2 June – Longacres Bybrook Barn, Ashford
Sunday 10 June – Newbridge Nurseries, Horsham
Sunday 24 June – Coolings, The Gardeners Garden Centre, Knockholt.

You can find out more and book a free appointment online here (places are limited). People are welcome to also go along for advice and information or a visual skin analysis provided by rtwskin.

For more information about Watch Your Back! and Siva and Sam’s top tips click here. You can find out more about QVH’s skin cancer services here.