Cheap holiday linked to surge in skin cancer among over-55s


Surging skin cancer cases in people over 55 has been blamed on the sunshine bargain break boom from the 1960s.

Experts have linked the advent of cheap package holidays to figures showing rates of melanoma in that age group have almost
tripled in the last 30 years.

Analysis by Cancer Research UK revealed across all ages, skin cancer cases in the UK have reached a record high of 17,500 a year – and that figure is projected to rise to 26,500 by 2040.

Deaths, however, are dropping. They have fallen eight percent since a peak in 2013-15. CRUK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said the data painted a “mixed picture” for patients and medical staff.

She said: “While it’s promising that more people are seeking treatment for skin cancer earlier and survival is improving, it’s alarming cases could soar over the coming years.

“Melanoma is the UK’s fifth most common cancer and we know that 86 percent of these skin cancers could be prevented.

“It’s important to take care in the sun and to contact your GP if you notice any unusual changes to your skin.”

Too much exposure to UV radiation causes DNA damage to skin cells, which can cause them to start growing out of control. Getting sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of developing skin cancer.

A growing UK population and longer life expectancy is also contributing to the rise in cases. Meanwhile, better awareness of symptoms also means more people are seeking help.

CRUK is urging people to take precautions this summer by seeking shade on hot days, particularly between 11am and 3pm when the sun is strongest.

Covering up, wearing a hat and applying sunscreen with at least SPF15 regularly can combat damaging effects.

CRUK’s head of health and patient information, Dr Julie Sharp, said: “Whether holidaying abroad or enjoying the good weather closer to home, it’s important to take steps to reduce your risk of skin cancer, especially if you burn easily.

“Remember that sunburn doesn’t just happen on the hottest days…you can still get burnt when it’s cloudy.”

Post source: Daily Express

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