Appeal to boost skin cancer awareness

An Essex travel agent is calling on ABTA to do more to warn consumers about the dangers of developing skin cancer.

Jill Wilkinson, who runs Premier Travel in Seven Kings, wants ABTA to spearhead a campaign about the threat of the disease, following the death, in May, of one of her former members of staff.

Twenty-two-year-old Alex Lines, who worked at Premier’s customer services department, died on May 14 after her two-year battle against melanoma cancer. Lines had been best friends with Wilkinson’s daughter, Vicky Masterson, an accounts assistant at Premier.

Wilkinson said: “We are in an industry where we send people away to the sun constantly. We’ve got a moral obligation to make sure that people are aware, and that they get the correct safety information.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about this disease. The national press described Alex as a ‘tanorexic’ – someone addicted to suntanning. But that was simply not true.

“I’d like to see ABTA issue leaflets warning of the dangers of skin cancer, in line with the SunSmart advice given by Cancer Research UK. Agents could then send these leaflets to clients with their tickets.”

A spokeswoman for ABTA said: “Skin cancer is an important issue and we will look into it.”

  • You can read about Alex Lines’ brave battle against skin cancer in next month’s TW2 supplement, out September 9.

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