Charlie Dimmock and Alan Titchmarsh are joining a host of horticultural organisations in supporting ‘Watch Your Back!’; a new health campaign urging men to review their sun protection habits and get their backs checked regularly for the warning signs of skin cancer.
Research (National Cancer Intelligence Service, Public Health England, Malignant melanoma in older persons, 2014 http://www.ncin.org.uk/view?rid=2855) has revealed that men over the age of 50 are at the highest risk of developing melanoma; the most dangerous form of skin cancer. In men, the disease appears commonly on the back, head and neck, in areas hard to spot, contributing to a later diagnosis than in women, making their condition harder to treat.
The campaign, devised by the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund features ‘The Gardeners Sun Safety Code’; a set of guidelines offering tips on sun protection, how and why to check skin for signs of change and what to look out for; including more common non-melanoma cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma.
Charlie Dimmock says; “gardening is a wonderful pastime and getting active outdoors is a positively healthy thing to do at any age, however we ALL need to be more aware of the dangers of the sun. Men especially can be reluctant when it comes to applying sunscreen, visiting their doctor or checking their skin for signs of change. With this attitude not only do we all risk melanoma, but all other sun related cancers”. Gardening guru
The campaign is officially supported by The Garden Centre Association, The National Allotment Society and The Professional Gardeners Guild, plus a growing number of regional gardening societies and information will be available on-line and promoted via skin health clinics in a regional tour of garden centres from 30th April. (I can forward you this list if you wish?)
Alan Titchmarch says; “we men can be guilty of believing we don’t need to worry about sun protection, especially when we hit a certain age, however this appears to be the furthest thing from the truth. Melanoma is a terrible disease and it can destroy lives, but it is avoidable. By following these very useful guidelines you can lessen the risk of all types of skin related problems. Get outdoors, have fun, but stay sun protected.”
Are you a gardening expert? #greatgardeningquiz
Gardeners are being challenged to pitch their knowledge and nerves against the UK’s smartest horticulturists by entering The Great 60 Second Gardening Quiz. Simply answer as many gardening related questions as possible against the clock to find out what type of expert you rank as.
Prizes from Spear & Jackson, Thompson & Morgan, Ladival sunscreen and The Royal Horticultural Society go to the top 50 best scores. Each entry requires a £1 on-line donation with all proceeds helping raise awareness of melanoma and funding vital research**.
To find out more about Watch Your Back! and to enter The Great 60 Second Gardening Quiz visit: