Sleeves – Long or Short ?
For those that enjoy Sport in the Sunshine ?
Should we wear Long or Short Sleeves to protect our skin from the sun?
I was recently diagnosed with a Malignant Melanoma – on my Right Forearm
in short not great news!
Was on my arm for a number of years, and in the last year had changed a little or had possibly grown. Perhaps in the earlier years it was not malignant.
- Could see a change on arm’s skin
- no mole
- just a patch of red / pink
- or a red patch
It was on my right forearm for a while, well a few years, and was a small rectangle for most of that time.
See the June 2016 picture – was there for a year or two longer than this but I can’t recall when it first appeared.
Was there anything I could of done differently ?
“Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.” Source Cancer Research UK.
Been on this planet for a while now – and yes I think there were times that I should have been aware and sensible – and covered up with long sleeve shirts or sun screen, with High SPF Factor, would probably of prevented the appearance.
Cricket – all those years of wearing short sleeved shirt. Should have worn a long sleeve shirt – probably. But as a bowler I preferred the short sleeves, perhaps I should have used those skin tight fitting under layer/base layers with long sleeves and white
All excuses to be honest – should have covered up or at least have some proper sun cream on – a High Factor >50 and ensured it was topped up as recommended on the bottle of Sun Cream/Sun Lotion.
June 2016 it didn’t look much >
but compared to my other arm which was clear – there was an obvious “pink” patch which should not have been there.
I can’t recall exactly the year it appeared perhaps 2014 or 2015 or perhaps 2013
for those that think they know:
“There’s no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan doesn’t protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.” NHS Sunscreen & Sun Safety (links at the bottom of this page)
When it first appeared ?
Should I have gone straight to my Doctor (GP) when it first appeared with that clever thing we all call hindsight
– YES of course I should have !!
however I didn’t think it was anything to worry about. I knew it was there and looked at it every day probably. So if it changes I will go to my Doctor.
It took my mother to get me to go – YES at my age!! It took my mother to get me to go and see my Doctor. I visited my Doctor in 2017 and was referred.
My Time Line :
- 17 July 2017 – Appointment with my Doctor (GP)
- 17 July 2017 – Saw my GP (Doctor) who referred me
- 16 Dec 2017 – Appointment – Crawley Hospital ( a Saturday so a Biopsy could not be done)
- 5 Jan 2018 – Sample Biopsy taken – East Surrey Hospital
- 29 Jan 2018 – Follow up Appointment – with Dr J Slater – East Surrey Hospital, UK
- 20 Feb 2018 – Urgent Surgery Appointment at East Surrey Hospital
- 3 April 2018 – 6 Weeks since Urgent Surgery (Results due 6-8 weeks post my Urgent Surgery)
- 5 April 2018 – East Surrey Hospital Outpatients called me
- 6 April 2018 – East Surrey Hospital Outpatients Appointment 2pm (The Results)
- 6 April 2018 – Attended East Surrey Hospital Appointment
- 6 April 2018 – Blood Test – checking for Vitamin D levels
- 6 April 2018 – letter to go to my GP / Doctor and myself confirming the findings and prognosis.
- 7 April 2018 – Letter to GP (Doctor) dated 7 April 2018
- 9 April 2018 – Blood test Results – “Borderline” should consider Vitamin D supplement
- 10 April 2018 – Letter to GP copy received
- 17 April 2018 – 8 Weeks since urgent Surgery (Results due 6-8 Weeks)
- 21 April 2018 – First Cricket Match post the surgery.
- 5 October 2018 – 6 Month Check – back at East Surrey Hospital.
- 5 April 2019 -12 months check
The melanoma stages can be described as:
- Stage 0 – the melanoma is on the surface of the skin
- Stage 1A – the melanoma is less than 1mm thick
- Stage 1B – the melanoma is 1-2mm thick, or less than 1mm thick and the surface of the skin is broken (ulcerated) or its cells are dividing faster than usual
- Stage 2A – the melanoma is 2-4mm thick, or it’s 1-2mm thick and ulcerated
- Stage 2B – the melanoma is thicker than 4mm, or it’s 2-4mm thick and ulcerated
- Stage 2C – the melanoma is thicker than 4mm and ulcerated
Please note the above mention millimetres, so not very big at all.
The above stages from NHS (there is 4 stages) – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.
Diagnosis / My Diagnosis:
“Malignant melanoma right forearm. pTis with possible microinvasion”
For 5mm wide local excision
Dr J SLater Associate Specialist in Dermatology – East Surrey Hospital.
The Stage mine is at has to be confirmed or more accurately I need to ask again – I guess any where between Stage 0, 1A or perhaps 2A.
During my follow up appointment 6 April 2018 – J O’Hagan confirmed Stage 1A.
Signs and symptoms
The characteristics of melanoma (known by the acronym ABCDE) include the following:
B: Irregular border
C: Colour variations: Especially red, white, and blue tones in a brown or black lesion
D: Diameter greater than 6 mm
E: Elevated surface
Tennis Players, Golfers, Cricketers spend a long time in the Sunshine – weather allowing
Yeah a High Factor sun cream should be ok
Be aware Be very Aware of your Skin
British Association of Dermatologists – http://www.bad.org.uk/
Cancer Research UK :– http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/melanoma
- Skin cancer (melanoma) : https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/
- Sunscreen and Sun Safety : https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/skin/Pages/Sunsafe.aspx
- The East Surrey NHS Team : https://www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/our-services/a-z-of-services/dermatology/treatments/
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Trust Headquarters East Surrey Hospital Redhill Surrey RH1 5RH
Why this article published by me?
Simply to raise awareness
and DO NOT IGNORE any changes to your SKIN.
If like me it was on one arm – and not the other
The sensible decision is to go to your Own Doctor.
Book an appointment – today
STOP the chances, and where skin sun protection – or even a “Rash UV Vest” prevention is better than my situation
Attended 6 April 2018 appointment – 6 weeks and 3 days after the urgent surgery. Confirmed as a Malignant Melanoma, Stage 1A.
Letter to my GP – copy letter also sent to myself dated 7 April 2018 received 10 April 2018
Superficial spread malignant melanoma, Breslow thickness 0.7, right forearm excised wide local excision 20 February 2018, biopsy 5 January 2018
Vitamin D Information
We need Vitamin D :
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and in the UK from around late March/early April to the end of September we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Find out how to get enough without risking sun damage.
We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. These minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
The main way we get it is some magic our skin does with the sun. Your body can’t make vitamin D if you are sitting indoors by a sunny window because ultraviolet B (UVB) rays (the ones your body needs to make vitamin D) can’t get through the glass.
You can also get Vitamin D from foods which include :
- red meat
- fortified food such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals
Most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered and without sunscreen from late March or early April to the end of September, especially from 11am to 3pm. this timing does contradict other advice that suggests and or recommends we all avoid the sun at this time 11am to 3pm
Here in the UK, sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation in winter (October to early March) for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.
During these months, we rely on getting our vitamin D from food sources (including fortified foods) and supplements.
Using sunbeds is not a recommended way of making vitamin D. I would suggest never use them.
How to get vitamin D from sunlight – A great web page from NHS UK
this page was last reviewed and updated 9 February 2019
(first published 20 March 2018)