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23rd July 2019

Skin cancer rates have soared by 45% in ten years

Figures released by Cancer Research UK show a drastic 45% rise in skin cancer rates in both young and old patients in the past ten years[1].

Key Findings(1)

  • Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has become the fifth most common cancer in the UK, up from eighth.
  • Cases of melanoma have increased by more than a third for women and by 55% in men from 2004-2006 to 2014-2016.
  • There are now 26 cases per 100,000 compared to 17 cases per 100,000 in 2004.
  • Melanoma cases in young adults have risen by 70 percent since the 1990s.

Cancer Research UK believes the spike can be attributed to the rise of package holidays in the 1970s and a more recent surge in cheap flights. The charity also said that people need to remember to protect their skin in the UK, as well as on holiday.

Our research also suggests that whilst the majority of people in the UK know they need to protect themselves from the sun when they’re heading to the beach, many are forgetting about the incidental sun damage that occurs during everyday activities[2].

Important Facts

  • When the UV index is 3 or more, the sun is strong enough to cause sunburn.[3]
  • The average UV index is above 4 in London from April to September.[4]
  • 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable and you can help reduce your chances of developing the disease by regularly using a high SPF 50+ sunscreen.[5]



[1]  Cancer Research UK,  Skin Cancer Rates Rocket by 45%  (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 July 18) Available from:

[2]  SunSense 2018 summer survey

[3] Cancer Research UK, Causes of Cancer, (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 July 18) Available from:

[4]  Weather Atlas, Forecast and Climate London (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 July 18) Available from:

[5] Cancer Research UK, Melanoma skin cancer statistics, (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 July 15). Available from:



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