Skin cancer cases at record levels

skin cancer cases

Package holidays have made it easier than ever before to jet off abroad and enjoy a sun-filled holiday. However, a hidden cost is emerging. Recent findings from Cancer Research UK, reveal an alarming increase in melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK, reaching a record high of 17,500 cases each year.

What’s more concerning is the pronounced rise in skin cancer cases among adults aged 55 and over, a demographic that may have enjoyed those sunny, budget-friendly holidays in the past. It highlights the importance of sun protection in childhood and beyond.

In this blog, you’ll discover more about melanoma, one of the most common types of skin cancer, and how you can protect yourself.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its colour. Unlike other forms of skin cancer, melanoma can be more aggressive, spreading to other parts of the body if not treated early.

It often appears as a new spot or growth on the skin, or a change in an existing mole. While it can develop anywhere on the body, it’s usually found in areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Understanding melanoma is essential, as early detection and treatment can significantly increase the chances of a successful recovery.

Keep an eye on moles

Detecting melanoma in its early stages is crucial for effective treatment. A new or changing mole could be a melanoma, so keeping an eye on moles can be a lifesaving habit.
Regular self-examinations of the skin to check for changes in size, shape, colour, or feel of moles can make all the difference. Look for asymmetry, irregular borders, varied colours, and growth.

You can also undergo regular mole checks at a dermatologist clinic for peace of mind.

If any suspicious changes are noted, seeking medical attention quickly is vital. A healthcare provider can conduct a thorough examination and, if necessary, remove a small sample for biopsy to determine if it’s cancerous.

The importance of sun protection

As we discover the connection between increased melanoma skin cancer cases and exposure to the sun, the role of sun protection becomes more critical than ever.

Protection against harmful UV rays is not just about avoiding sunburn; it’s a vital part of preventing skin cancer. This includes applying sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing protective clothing like hats and sunglasses, seeking shade during peak sunlight hours, and avoiding tanning beds.

Sun protection is not just for sunny days, but a year-round commitment that can significantly reduce the risk of developing melanoma and other skin-related health issues.

If you are concerned about any changes in your moles, or if you would like to book a skin examination, schedule an appointment with Dr Juliet Williams by emailing info@drjulietwilliams.co.uk.