02:30AM, Tuesday 22 April 2014
Skin cancer diagnosis in the South-east has doubled over the past 20 years, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK.
The statistics, released on Monday, April 21 show that about 19 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the region every year compared to nine per 100,000 in the early nineties.
This equates to about 2,000 people developing malignant melanoma in the South-east every year.
Rates of skin cancer diagnosis, which is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, are five times higher than they were in the 1970s.
The rise is partly due to the surge in package holiday popularity and the 'must-have' tan.
Sun beds have also played a part and better detection methods may also have contributed to the increase in the number of people diagnosed.
More than 2,000 people die from the disease each year.
More than eight in 10 people will survive the disease.
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South-east, said: “We know overexposure to UV rays from the sun or sun beds is the main cause of skin cancer.
“One of the best ways people can reduce their risk of malignant melanoma is to avoid getting sunburn."
"We know that those with the highest risk of the disease include people with pale skin, lots of moles or freckles, a history of sunburn or a family history of the disease."
Visit sunsmart.org.uk for tips on staying safe in the sun.
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