CLIFTON Hospital’s Skin Cancer Care Coordinator, Michelle Forsyth, is set to become a regional ambassador for a national charity.
Michelle is to use her skills to benefit Skcin, the Karen Clifford skin charity, which raises awareness through education, promoting prevention and early detection.
She said: “It is nice to be recognised and be invited to be an ambassador, as my main role is to raise awareness about skin cancers as everyone is at risk.”
Following a big rise in referrals for possible skin cancers, Michelle is funded by Macmillan to educate the public about skin cancers.
She organises a lot of outreach events, visiting individuals or groups who will benefit from having more information on skin cancer and she also welcomes people popping in to see her at Clifton Hospital.
She is currently visiting care homes, GP practices, beauty therapy colleges and nurseries as well as holding sessions in more public arenas, such as garden centres and leaves attendees with a pack containing information and sunscreen samples. Completion of her one hour basic awareness courses results in a certificate.
Michelle said: “The training session I lead was put together by lead skin cancer nurse Heather Baines and I and part of the session covers identification of lesions. Whilst we don’t expect people to be diagnosing skin cancers noticing a change and seeking medical advice is paramount as early detection ensures the best outcome.
“Raising awareness is a huge part of my varied role. I am fortunate enough to still provide support within a clinical setting which I love. I also provide support and assist Heather and the Clinical Nurse Specialist Tony Eaton.”
Skin cancer is the UK’s most common cancer and over 80% of them are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sunbeds making the majority of all skin cancers preventable.
She added: “Car windows, conservatories etc. are no barrier to the damaging rays of the sun and this affects everyone. We don’t advocate anything less than a factor 30 anymore and that it’s important that people are protected against UVB and UVA rays. The star rating should be over 4. It doesn’t have to be expensive as long as it provides that protection.”
Michelle works with lots of accredited charities and companies to help her provide literature and free samples including the British Association of Dermatologists, Cancer Research, Sunsense, La Roche-Posay, and of course Macmillan.
She added: “I am can be available to visit any school or business as we would all benefit from learning about prevention and early detection.”
For further information, you can contact Michelle by emailing Michelle.Forsyth@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk.