Melanoma and mental health
Skin Cancer Melanoma is a considerable health concern in the UK due to the rise in incidence rates within the past few decades. Research has demonstrated that patients can experience anxiety, depression and psychological distress throughout the clinical period and afterwards.
Globocan has predicted that rates of melanoma are going to continue to increase with new cases of 18,256 by 2035 in the UK
McLoone, Watts, Menzies, Meiser, Butow and Kasparian (2012) stated psychological distress, fear and uncertainty permeates every aspect of the melanoma trajectory into survivorship.
However there is a lack of psychological support services for patients and loved ones affected by melanoma, despite the National Institute for Care and Excellence publishing guidelines (2015) highlighting the need for patient-centred care, with specific needs being treated accordingly.
Counselling and support for patients and their loved ones minimises stress, increases support networks, reduces anxiety and can help everyone effected to refocus with a view to mentally reallocating the disease and move forward with living.
Malignant melanoma is mostly a preventable cancer and currently stands at the 5th most common cancer in the UK. Although age is a risk factor and half of diagnosis is of people over the age of 65, melanoma is quickly becoming the young person’s disease and currently stands at the second most common cancer in people under the age of 50.
Ultraviolet light is the main environmental factor of melanoma and this comes from sunbed’s and the sun
Melanoma is 86% preventable, however research has shown that many people have little understanding of the full dangers and still consider it to be a ‘cut out and cure’ cancer. Ultraviolet light is the main environmental factor of melanoma and this comes from sunbed’s and the sun. Awareness and understanding of the full dangers of malignant melanoma gives most social groups an insight into how tanning without protection can kill and help to develop education as to what people can do to avoid the risk factor.
Education from birth to the elderly, highlights the importance of protecting skin and reinforces the message that no one is immune to this disease. Knowing all of the risk factors and preventative measures equips families with the knowledge that is so greatly needed to reduce the frightening statistics around melanoma, and encourages sun protection as part of the normal daily routine.
Although paediatric Melanoma is rare, it presents in a different way to adult melanoma. Skin damage, caused by sunburn in children more than doubles the chances of developing Melanoma later in life. Vigilance and early detection is prevalent for survival of melanoma.