Dr Billy O’Connor, a consultant dermatologist at the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, said he has seen patients who have battled skin cancers return in the spring with a tan. He said that such a situation was the equivalent to seeing a lung cancer sufferer walk into a hospital with a cigarette in each hand.
The frontline worker is passionate about educating people on the serious risks linked to sun worshipping. Some 13,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, with numbers expected to double in Ireland by 2040.
Dr O’Connor described the extent of the situation in Cork.
“Tanning on sun holidays and sun beds can certainly be an addiction,” he said.
“We have people who might have two or three cancers taken off a year. They disappear for the winter and when we see them in the spring they are walking in with a tan.