Cancer Research UK has announced that the incidence of melanoma has increased by 45% since 2004.
Recent data show that the incidence rate has increased by more than a third (35%) for women and almost three fifths (55%) for men, and that the incidence rate among 25-49 year olds has increased by as much as 70% since the 1990s. Despite these rising rates, melanoma is still the most common among people over 65.
The numbers were released to commemorate the launch of Your Tone charity campaign, which encourages people to take their natural skin tone and protect their skin from too much sun.
Michelle Mitchell, executive director of Cancer Research UK, reminded the public that, although tanning is often seen as a sign of good health, “there is no such thing as a healthy tan, in fact your body is trying to protect itself from harmful rays.”
She went on to say that statistics “emphasizes the importance of our own campaign Your Tone, which encourages people to adopt their natural skin tone and adopt behavior that is safe for the sun.”
Melanoma skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common cancer in people aged 25-49, but UK cancer research says that almost 90% of cases of melanoma could be prevented if people took better care of their skin in the sun both at home and abroad. Sunburn, once every two years, can triple the risk of developing skin cancer.
Fortunately, awareness of melanoma skin cancer is also increasing, which means that more people are being diagnosed and treated for this disease.