Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is on the increase. Anyone who works for long periods outdoors is potentially at risk from exposure to solar radiation but the condition can also be caused by coal tars and pitches and mineral oils.

Workers and families who are affected by occupational skin cancer may now be able to claim personal injury compensation. If you or a family member has suffered illness from skin cancer, which is linked to a current or previous occupation or profession, you could make a compensation claim.

In the most recent study from the HSE, 1,300 cancer registrations per year in the construction industry are caused by exposure to the sun (solar ultraviolet radiation), coal tars and pitches, mostly causing non melanoma skin cancer (NMSCs). Other sectors that are of concern include agriculture, public administration and defence, and land transport. Men are more likely than women to be affected.

The figures are thought to be conservative due to under reporting of non-melanoma skin cancer.

There are other substances and agents linked to skin cancer including: arsenic; creosols; cutting oils; Ionising radiation; Non-ionising radiation; paraffin wax and petroleum derivatives.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with this condition and you suspect that this may be related to your current or previous employment then please contact us for a no obligation, free consultation. Even if the substance or by-product is not listed above and you suspect it caused your condition we may still be able to help.

What is skin cancer?

More accurately termed malignant melonoma, this is a skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes can grow together to form a benign (not cancerous) moles. A melanoma starts as a collection of cancerous melanocytes. A change in size, shape or colour of a mole can be a sign of melanoma.

The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the bottom of the epidermis and accounts for 75% of skin cancers.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the top of the epidermis and accounts for about 20% of skin cancers.