The people of Galway have been selected to participate in the first ever medical survey in Ireland which will test for the incidence of skin cancer in the area.

Skin cancer is known to be common among the adult population of Galway and accounts for one third of the cancers treated at the regional hospital. 1,300 adults from the area will be randomly selected from the electoral register and asked to participate in the survey.

The study is of international significance as half of the skin cancer patients in Philadelphia and Brisbane are either first or second generation Irish. These American and Australian studies indicate that skin cancer of a certain type is more common among those of Celtic stock, especially from the West of Ireland.

The people of Celtic stock are more vulnerable than others.

Along with this predisposition to skin cancer, Professor Frank Urbach of Philadelphia also warns of the presence of sun burning radiation that goes through the clouds. It is therefore important

To recognise that this is happening, to seek treatment as early as possible... and to take some care not to do any more sunbathing than is absolutely necessary.

The survey is expected to last for two years and £4,000 of the overall cost will be provided by Galway County Council. County Manager Austin Sharkey hopes all of the people asked to volunteer for the survey will participate and explains the examination is non invasive and will not take long to complete. On completion participants will have the

Satisfaction of knowing that they are contributing to our knowledge of this disease and that they are performing a public service.

Dr Patrick Judge from Donegal will oversee the survey and will be supported by two assistants.

This ‘Newsbeat’ report by Bill O’Herlihy was broadcast on 15 December 1966.