Deadly skin cancer cases top 10,000 a year

Binge tanning at home and abroad is blamed

Binge tanning – where sunbathers seek to get brown as fast as possible – has caused the number of Britons diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer to top 10,000 each year, Cancer Research UK has said.

The number of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma rose by 650 in one year, taking the total to 10,410 in 2006, the most recent available figure.

The charity predicts this number will rise to more than 15,500 by 2024. This would make malignant melanoma the fourth most common cancer among men and women in the UK.

In the last 30 years rates of the cancer have more than quadrupled, from 3.4 cases per 100,000 people in 1977 to 14.7 per 100,000 in 2006.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK‘s director of health information, said: ‘These figures show that a worrying number of people are being diagnosed with this potentially fatal disease.

‘With the rates of malignant melanoma in the UK rising faster than any other cancer, it’s more important than ever that people are aware of the dangers of getting burnt, either in the sun or from using sunbeds.’

Advice is to spend time in the shade in the middle of the day, cover up with clothing where possible, wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen of at least SPF factor 15 regularly.

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