Skin cancer rates rising highlights the dangers of too much sun

The Easter break has bought something that most employees in the UK will have forgotten about over the last 6 months or so – warm weather and sunshine.  With hot temperatures, it is always wise to remind staff about skin awareness.  This is particularly prevalent this week following a warning from Cancer Research UK.

New research has shown a worrying rise in skin cancers in pensioners.  The charity says that although all ages are at risk, many older people would not have been aware of how to protect themselves four decades ago.

The numbers back up this assertion – they show that 5,700 over-65s are diagnosed with the condition each year, compared to just 600 in the mid-1970s.

The condition can often be prevented by covering up and avoiding sunburn.  Around 13,300 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – each year in the UK. And 2,100 lives are lost to the disease annually.  Numbers are increasing across all age groups but the steepest rise is seen in over-65s.

The charity said all ages are benefiting from public health messages explaining the dangers of holiday sun.  Research suggests that getting sunburnt just once every two years can increase the odds of developing malignant melanoma.