Football star launches cancer campaign

COLCHESTER United star Wayne Brown is urging Essex men to tackle skin cancer by defending themselves from the sun.The U's defender, who suffered from skin cancer on his scalp, was at Layer Road yesterday to kick off the 2006 SunSmart campaign for Cancer Research UK, which starts officially today.

COLCHESTER United star Wayne Brown is urging Essex men to tackle skin cancer by defending themselves from the sun.

The U's defender, who suffered from skin cancer on his scalp, was at Layer Road yesterday to kick off the 2006 SunSmart campaign for Cancer Research UK, which starts officially today.

Brown, 28, said: “No-one wants to think about getting skin cancer, especially when they are enjoying the lovely summer weather.

“But of course we are all at risk, particularly people like me who are outdoors a lot. I'm going to Florida soon, and my priorities have changed - it's not about getting the best tan anymore. It is about having fun and keeping safe.”


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Brown, a former Ipswich Town player, underwent a biopsy at Colchester General hospital after a routine check up just before Christmas last year, which revealed his growth was a malignant melanoma.

He now urges every team physio and coach in the country to keep a ready supply of sunscreen for the players to use before matches.

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Mr Brown's determination to deal with his cancer and keep on playing impressed both players and fans alike, he even played against Sheffield United in an FA cup match with 12 stitches in his head.

He was awarded player of the year at the end of the season and donated a cheque for £1,000 to Cancer Research UK.

This year's SunSmart campaign is targeting men in an effort to raise awareness of skin cancer and the importance of reporting any changes to your doctor.

A new survey found that 53 % of men from the South East never even check their backs - where skin cancer often occurs.

Dr Catherine Harwood, consultant dermatologist for Cancer Research UK, said: “Men seem to be generally less aware of mole changes than women.

“Detecting a melanoma in its early stages means early treatment with a much better chance of survival.”

Lynn Daly, regional spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in the South East, said: “People who work outside and whose faces, arms and legs are constantly exposed to sun are more likely to be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer.

“This is far more common and far less dangerous than melanoma but it is important to have it treated as soon as possible.”

For further information visit www.sunsmart.org.uk or www.reducetherisk.org.uk.

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