Men targeted in skin cancer drive

Cancer Research UK is preparing a campaign to prevent an outbreak of skin cancer among men who work outdoors.

Campaign manager Genevieve Frisby said the charity's research indicated cases of cancerous skin melanomas had the potential to treble over the next few years if people did not change their behaviour in the sun.

'Many people in industries such as construction spend the majority of their day outside and are exposed to four times as much sun as office workers. This means they are more susceptible to skin cancer,' she explained. 'The campaign particularly applies to men, who are traditionally less likely to take care of their skin.'

The charity has spent the past six weeks sending information packs to 6,000 workplaces and 15,000 health professionals, and will launch the PR drive for the SunSmart campaign on 15 May.

One of the main challenges will be teaching people about the dangers that exposure to the sun can bring.

'People working outdoors see getting a tan as a perk, so we'll show them the risks and encourage them to change their habits,' said Frisby.

The campaign will use tabloid media to target construction workers, and women's lifestyle titles to  reach health-conscious partners. It will also focus on trade press and regional radio.

SunSmart previously targeted teenagers and mothers with young children.

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