Skin cancer rates soar in the North East as the search for the 'perfect tan' continues

The Northern Echo: Skin cancer rates soar in the North East as the search for the 'perfect tan' continues Skin cancer rates soar in the North East as the search for the 'perfect tan' continues

SKIN cancer rates in the North-East have more than trebled in the last 20 years with hundreds of people diagnosed every year, new figures have shown.

The region has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma - the most serious form of skin cancer - according to Cancer Research UK.

Increased sunbed use and a failure to take sensible precautions in the sun, particularly when on holiday, are thought to be responsible for the rise.

The figures from Cancer Research UK show that about 15 in every 100,000 people in the North-East are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year – about 450 people - compared to four per 100,000 in the early 1990s.

The number of men diagnosed with skin cancer has increased from 3.3 per 100,000 in the years 1990-1993 to 13.7 in each 100,000 people between 2008 and 2010 – an increase of 318 per cent.

Figures for women show a similar change, up to 15.8 cases per 100,000 people from 5.1 per 100,000 in the early 1990s.

Cancer Research UK said people need to be more aware of the dangers of the sun, particularly those with fair skin and a high number of moles and freckles.

Mark Pratt, 45, from Marton, near Middlesbrough, was diagnosed with skin cancer four months ago and had two operations on his back and his head.

He said: "Although my cancer isn’t the aggressive type, it did have to be removed. The doctor said to me on the second occasion that she would be seeing me again, it will come back.

“For the rest of my life I have to wear factor 50 sun tan lotion in the summer and factor 15 in the winter – and that’s just in the UK. The same goes for my kids because it can be hereditary.”

Mr Pratt, who is fair-skinned, said he spent a lot of time in the sun in his youth and added: “I wish I had known, I wish I had covered up more and used sun tan lotion when I was younger.

“I was never that bothered about a tan, I just loved being in the sun but I have to keep out of it now.”

Nationally, skin cancer diagnosis rates are more than five times higher than they were in the 1970s, which saw the start of package holidays to sunnier climes.

Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and more than 2,000 people die from it each year.

Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for the North-East, said: “We know overexposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.

“This means, in many cases, the disease can be prevented, so it’s essential to get into good sun safety habits, whether at home or abroad.

“Sadly more and more people in the North-East are being diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year.”

There is some good news – survival rates for skin cancer are among the highest for any form of the illness. More than eight in ten people diagnosed with the disease will survive.

Cancer Research UK has teamed up with skincare company Nivea to encourage people to stay safe by using a sun cream of at least factor 15, spending time in the shade during the hottest part of the day and wearing a hat and sunglasses in the sun.

For more safety advice from Cancer Research UK visit sunsmart.org.uk

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:58pm Mon 21 Apr 14

oliviaden6 says...

I am a sufferer of this thing and it is not nice i have had three operations over the last five years, now i cover up all the time. People should be aware Malignant Melanoma can kill so be warned cover up. I did not get mine from holidaying but working abroad so like i say cover up plenty of factor 30 and above most of all wear a hat its the head and shoulders that can be the easiest to get it and believe it or not also the feet you have been warned. People need to be aware and take the advice from the Doctors and most of ALL HEED THE ADVICE
I am a sufferer of this thing and it is not nice i have had three operations over the last five years, now i cover up all the time. People should be aware Malignant Melanoma can kill so be warned cover up. I did not get mine from holidaying but working abroad so like i say cover up plenty of factor 30 and above most of all wear a hat its the head and shoulders that can be the easiest to get it and believe it or not also the feet you have been warned. People need to be aware and take the advice from the Doctors and most of ALL HEED THE ADVICE oliviaden6
  • Score: 2

8:28pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Anonblonde says...

I too am a sufferer having being diagnosed nearly 2 years ago. I have been lucky so far (if you can call it that), a small mole on my stomach had started to change colour, since then I've had 2 operations and see a skin cancer nurse every 3 months, my prognosis is good but I am all too aware that this could reoccur so I am very vigilant. Malignant Melanoma is a killer, please don't be complacent, wear a good broad spectrum sun lotion minimum factor 30, cover up and check your moles regularly for any changes. I really do not want anyone to have to go through the trauma that myself and my family have had to go through, being told you have cancer is horrific so please stay safe in the sun.
I too am a sufferer having being diagnosed nearly 2 years ago. I have been lucky so far (if you can call it that), a small mole on my stomach had started to change colour, since then I've had 2 operations and see a skin cancer nurse every 3 months, my prognosis is good but I am all too aware that this could reoccur so I am very vigilant. Malignant Melanoma is a killer, please don't be complacent, wear a good broad spectrum sun lotion minimum factor 30, cover up and check your moles regularly for any changes. I really do not want anyone to have to go through the trauma that myself and my family have had to go through, being told you have cancer is horrific so please stay safe in the sun. Anonblonde
  • Score: 1

9:06pm Mon 21 Apr 14

oliviaden6 says...

Anonblonde wrote:
I too am a sufferer having being diagnosed nearly 2 years ago. I have been lucky so far (if you can call it that), a small mole on my stomach had started to change colour, since then I've had 2 operations and see a skin cancer nurse every 3 months, my prognosis is good but I am all too aware that this could reoccur so I am very vigilant. Malignant Melanoma is a killer, please don't be complacent, wear a good broad spectrum sun lotion minimum factor 30, cover up and check your moles regularly for any changes. I really do not want anyone to have to go through the trauma that myself and my family have had to go through, being told you have cancer is horrific so please stay safe in the sun.
My thoughts exactly people do not realise what is occuring with their moles and if not caught in time it will kill. I too have been unlucky to a point and extremely lucky in having a fantastic surgeon he has saved my life for which i am eternally grateful and long may i reign but one need s to be vigilant and DO NOT DISMISS ANY ALTERATION IN A MOLE IF YOU DO IT MAY WELL KILL YOU?
[quote][p][bold]Anonblonde[/bold] wrote: I too am a sufferer having being diagnosed nearly 2 years ago. I have been lucky so far (if you can call it that), a small mole on my stomach had started to change colour, since then I've had 2 operations and see a skin cancer nurse every 3 months, my prognosis is good but I am all too aware that this could reoccur so I am very vigilant. Malignant Melanoma is a killer, please don't be complacent, wear a good broad spectrum sun lotion minimum factor 30, cover up and check your moles regularly for any changes. I really do not want anyone to have to go through the trauma that myself and my family have had to go through, being told you have cancer is horrific so please stay safe in the sun.[/p][/quote]My thoughts exactly people do not realise what is occuring with their moles and if not caught in time it will kill. I too have been unlucky to a point and extremely lucky in having a fantastic surgeon he has saved my life for which i am eternally grateful and long may i reign but one need s to be vigilant and DO NOT DISMISS ANY ALTERATION IN A MOLE IF YOU DO IT MAY WELL KILL YOU? oliviaden6
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Mon 21 Apr 14

oliviaden6 says...

Oh yes to all who suffer this problem take care and hopefully live long and prosper!
Oh yes to all who suffer this problem take care and hopefully live long and prosper! oliviaden6
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree