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Rates of skin cancer type in UK men jumps by nearly half in decade, research finds

·2-min read
Melanoma rates have risen among UK males over a ten-year period, Cancer Research says (Getty Images)
Melanoma rates have risen among UK males over a ten-year period, Cancer Research says (Getty Images)

Diagnoses of a type of skin cancer has jumped by nearly half for men in the UK in the space of a decade, according to new research.

The average incidence rate for Melanoma was 19.5 per 100,000 a year among UK males between 2005 and 2007, according to Cancer Research UK.

This rose by 47 per cent to 28.7 per 100,000 between 2015 and 2017, their analysis showed.

Women have also seen Melanoma rates increase over the same period but to a lesser extent, the leading cancer charity said, with their findings showing a 30 per cent increase in diagnoses.

Skin cancer is more common among men, who are also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, according to Cancer Research UK.

Deaths among UK men also rose by eight per cent across the ten-year period, the charity said.

“These figures are worrying - getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple the risk of skin cancer, so it’s important that everyone knows how to protect themselves,” Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said.

“Seeking shade, covering up and applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and 4 or 5 stars both regularly and generously, can help you to stay safe in the sun.”

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer Research said it is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 16,200 people diagnosed every year.

The most common sign of melanoma is a new mole appearing on the skin or a change in an existing mole.

While this can happen anywhere on the body, the back is the most common place for melanoma to appear for men, while it is the legs for women, according to the NHS.

“With staycations looking to be the norm for many this year, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that UK sun can be every bit as strong as when we are abroad,” Ms Mitchell from Cancer Research UK said.

“The same advice still applies, and if something doesn’t feel right or you notice any changes to your skin, talk to your GP.”

The other type of skin cancer - non-melanoma - is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with nearly 152,000 cases diagnosed every year, Cancer Research UK says.

It is often not included in national cancer data as it is easy to treat and cure, according to the charity.

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