SKIN cancer hits record high in UK and continues to rise, with cases being boosted by package holidays and trendy tans.
According to Cancer Research UK, there are 17,500 melanoma cases annually and by 2040 the number could increase by another 50 percent to 26,500 a year.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the charity, said the surge was “alarming” and urged people to be careful in the sun.
A heat warning is in effect for this weekend, with temperatures expected to reach 30C in some areas.
According to CRUK, fares for over-55s have tripled since the 1990s, in part due to the fad for cheap package holidays and tans dating back to the 1960s.
More and more people would report and have their skin examined, it said.
Ms Mitchell said: “It is promising that more people are seeking treatment for skin cancer earlier and the chances of survival are improving.”
“But it is alarming that cases of the disease could rise sharply in the coming years.
“Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and we know that 86 per cent of these skin cancers are preventable.
“It’s important to exercise caution in the sun and to contact your GP if you notice any unusual changes in your skin.”
The telltale sign of melanoma is a birthmark that is changing.
The main warning signs include:
- It will change color and may become darker or more mottled
- The texture changes, becoming thicker, swollen, scaly, scabbed, or crusty
- It becomes painful, itchy, or bleeds
Small sores like sores or scabs that don’t heal can also be a sign that something is wrong.
Survival rates are very high: 87 percent of patients are alive at least 10 years after their diagnosis, but the cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
dr Cancer Research’s Julie Sharp said: “The best way to protect your skin when it’s hot out in the sun is to spend time in the shade, particularly between 11am and 3pm in the UK, and cover up.
“Wearing sunscreen also helps you stay safe in the sun — make sure you’re applying enough sunscreen and reapplying it regularly.”