A Cambuslang woman has spoken out about the importance of spreading awareness on skin cancer.
Liz Tait, of Bressay Grove, lost her husband Robin to the disease in 2008.
Since then she has become involved with the Melanoma Action and Support Scotland group (MASScot) and recently took part in a visit to Holyrood where the charity was pushing for more information about the cancer to be made available in schools.
And she feels the message needs to reach younger people, especially as the cancer is on the rise, having become the most common cancer for 15-34-year-olds in Scotland.
Liz said: “ People don’t realise that when you’re in your teens you have to take care of your body or else it can hit you later on in life.
“That’s what happened to me, as Robin used to holiday in the Mediterranean when he was younger, and then was diagnosed when he was 54.
“It can take a while to affect you, or it can happen early on, but we need to make more people in schools aware of this.”
MASScot’s recent visit at Holyood saw them ask MSPs to back a public education campaign aimed at raising awareness throughout schools.
Local MSP James Kelly has already backed the plans. MSPs were asked to sign an agreement that sun protection is vital and add a comment of their own. James wrote: “Keep safe in the sun at school” to highlight the need for protection of young people.
He said: “I was delighted to meet up with Liz and the team from MASScot during their exhibition in Holyrood.”
“Preventing sunburn in young people can help reduce this killer cancer and I am keen to promote this message in Rutherglen and Cambuslang. If local people have any concerns around this issue then I would advise they contact their GP for advice and support.”
Liz added: “People tend to think that because of the weather in Scotland not being great, we’re less at risk. But it’s actually the opposite, and that’s why we should be taking the message into schools.
“We warm them about the danger of strangers, but not about the danger of the sun.
“Some of the things that we are suggesting, like putting on sunglasses, making sure there’s sun cream on, are very simple and easy to do.”
The problem isn’t helped by the popularity of fake tans and sun-beds, either.
“A lot of teenagers want the spray tan look, because they see celebrities on television.
“But for Joe Bloggs in Castlemilk it can be very different from what you see on television.
“We’ve spoken at South Lanarkshire College but really want to get the message into more of the local schools now.”
Check out www.masscot.org.uk