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Melanoma Skin Cancer Surging at Alarming Rate Across the UK Region


The incidence of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is on the rise across all age groups in the UK, with a particularly significant increase among the elderly population. According to a new analysis by Cancer Research UK, an estimated 20,800 people are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year, marking an all-time high.

Alarming Trends in Melanoma Cases

Melanoma cases have increased by almost a third over the past decade, with rates rising from 21 to 28 per 100,000 people between 2007-2009 and 2017-2019. The biggest rise in cases has occurred in adults over 80, with a 57% increase in the past decade. Even in the 25 to 49 age group, there has been a 7% increase in melanoma cases.

Preventable Cases

Cancer Research UK estimates that around 17,000 melanoma cases every year are preventable, with almost nine in 10 caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds.

Experts Advice for Sun Safety

To reduce the risk of developing melanoma, the charity advises people to Spend time in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm. Cover up with clothes, a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protection sunglasses, and a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and 4 or 5 stars, applied often.

One of those diagnosed with skin cancer is Shrewsbury postmistress Caroline Jones, who spotted a tiny blemish above her knee and promptly visited her GP. The biopsy confirmed the mole was cancerous, and it was removed without the need for further treatment. Jones, who lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of 49, is urging people to get their skin checked if they have any concerns.

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, emphasizes the importance of early detection and reducing the risk of developing melanoma in the first place. She encourages people to be vigilant about changes in their skin and to seek medical attention if they notice anything unusual.

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