Yoga Retreat Skin Cancer Warning

Do you treat your skin with care when it comes to exposing it to sunshine?
Do you know how to read the first signs of skin cancer?

Be careful when jetting off to a yoga retreat this summer because the number of people developing the most deadly form of skin cancer – malignant melanoma – has increased five times since the 1970s new research has found.

Statistics by Cancer Research UK shows that 13,000 people every year develop this harmful skin cancer compared to just 1,800 people a year in the 1970s. The organisation suggests that many factors have contributed to this rise including the popularity of sunbeds and cheap package holidays to sunny destinations.  The number of people who develop non-melanoma skin cancer in the UK is in excess of 100,000 every year.

The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or patch on the skin that doesn’t heal after a few weeks. The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. This can happen anywhere on the body, but most often the back, legs, arms and face are affected. The main difference between non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer is that melanoma skin cancer spreads throughout the body very quickly thereby reducing your chances of survival dramatically.

Despite recovery success, skin cancer is a very serious type of cancer and cannot always be treated successfully. The main treatment for both non-melanoma and melanoma is surgery and if diagnosed early, surgery is usually successful. However, if the cancer is not caught early, then other treatments such as chemotherapy may be needed.

If you are setting off for one of yoga retreats this summer, it’s important to understand the skin cancer risk factors. These include:

  • fair skin
  • moles and freckles
  • light coloured eyes
  • a personal or family history of skin cancer
  • a history of sunburn.

No doubt you will want to spend time in the sun during your yoga retreat, but don’t forget that sun damage is just that – damaging, and most of the time you won’t realise the damage until it’s too late. So make sure you stay in the shade for the first few days to let your skin adjust gradually. Guess what, even in the shade your skin tans, just slowly! And your body still creates that all important Vitamin D for which it requires the sun’s rays on the skin! (More on Vitamin D from BBC Radio 4.) See also our blog on Vitamin D in the spotlight.

Do you strike the right balance? – Sit in the shade where possible and wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses to shield your face and eyes. When exposing yourself to direct sunshine you may like to use plenty of sun cream (at least SPF 15) and reapply every couple of hours or after swimming.

See our yoga retreat summer holidays for your getaway this year.

By Holly

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