Cancer Prevention: Embracing the A to E Approach in light of World Cancer Day Feb 4th 2024

Matthew Fysh January 30. 2024
Prevention is better than a cure

As we observe World Cancer Day on February 4, 2024, and with Springtime looming, our attention naturally turns towards health and wellness, particularly in the realm of cancer prevention. At this pivotal time of year, it's essential to reflect on the significant strides made in cancer treatment and the crucial role of preventative measures.

While the NHS is diligently working to address backlogs and has made remarkable strides in cancer treatment, including advancements in plastics and reconstructive surgery for post-cancer therapies, we must remember that prevention is often better than a cure.

The power of early detection in the fight against melanoma can't be understated. Individuals can stay one step ahead by checking their skin regularly using the ABCDE method.

Moles, lumps and bumps on the skin should be monitored regularly - here's what to look out for:

Asymmetrical shapes: If one half doesn’t match the other, it’s time to check in.
Border irregularities: Look out for blurred or irregular edges.
Colour variations: Multiple colours or shades? Don’t wait to get it seen.
Diameter: Spots larger than 1/4 inch (6mm) need attention.
Evolving: Any change in size, shape, or colour? Contact your doctor.

Our Medical Director, and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, Gurjinderpal Singh Pahal tells us: “Early detection can significantly impact treatment outcomes. By knowing and monitoring your skin, you can identify potential concerns early on. Irrespective of skin type, I'd urge everyone to conduct regular self-examinations of their skin using the ABCDE method."

The strides made in treating skin cancer in recent years have been significant. Reconstructive surgery, dermatology, and oncology services work in tandem to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, but we all have a role to play in the fight against melanoma - and early detection is a powerful tool in the fight.

The NHS's efforts in tackling cancer are commendable, with treatment capabilities evolving continuously. However, by focusing on cancer prevention through the A to E approach, each of us plays a vital role in reducing our own risk and, in turn, helping to alleviate the pressures on our healthcare systems. Our individual actions in adopting healthier lifestyles not only enhance our personal well-being but also contribute to the broader effort of minimising the impact of cancer on society.

By embracing these preventive strategies, we support the NHS's ongoing efforts and take a proactive stance in the fight against cancer. Let's make this year a healthier one, filled with informed choices and preventive actions, supporting both our health and the healthcare system we rely on.