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Warning as skin cancer rates double in 20 years

Melanoma UK, a leading melanoma charity, has issued a warning following data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS reports that the number of melanoma skin cancer registrations has increased from 4777 in 1995 to 12,993 in 2014.

Exposure to sunlight is attributed as a high risk factor with number of UK residents going on holiday abroad having doubled from 1980 to 1989.

Gillian Nuttall, founder of Melanoma UK said: “These figures are extremely startling, but not altogether surprising.

Despite the steep rise in melanoma in the UK, the message of skin safety still doesn’t seem to be getting through. People still use sun beds, still sunbathe without adequate protection and fail to undertake regular skin checks.

Being skin aware is vital in the fight against melanoma

Dermatologist, Dr Christian Aldridge added: “Data collection on cancer registries has significantly improved since 1994 and thus the recording of a melanoma event is much more precise, which is contributing to increased reporting of melanoma.

This coupled with increased awareness, earlier presentation and continued health – promotion messages and the sequela of the sun burning episodes in the 1970s and 1980s, has seen melanoma numbers peaking as they are at present.

Skin vigilance needs to continue, and if individuals have no-one at home to check their backs, for example, then they should see their GP to check their skin.”