Deaths from skin cancer have more than doubled over the past 50 years as more and more British sun seekers fly abroad on cheap holidays.
Official figures analyzed by Cancer Research UK show that people die from melanoma cancer 2.5 times as quickly as in the 1970s.
Nearly nine out of 10 skin cancers are caused by too much sun, and experts warned that the desire to reach the ‘beauty standard’ of looking tanned could be fatal.
People who burn only once every two years are about three times as likely to develop melanoma, the charity said.
Deaths from skin cancer have more than doubled over the past 50 years as more and more British sun seekers fly abroad on cheap holidays. In the photo: a man and a woman enjoy the sun on Saturday in Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria, Spain
Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with 16,200 new cases each year and about 2,300 deaths each year.
The number of cases has more than doubled since the 1990s, and the number of deaths has also skyrocketed in recent decades.
In the early 1970s, 1.5 out of 100,000 people in the UK would die from skin cancer. But this has now risen to 3.8.
The increase is greater in men than in women, with the mortality rate among men now three times as high as in the 1970s.
Official figures analyzed by Cancer Research UK show that people die from melanoma cancer 2.5 times as quickly as in the 1970s. In the photo: People enjoy the weekend at La Malvarrosa beach in Valencia, Spain, on Saturdays
Karis Betts, from Cancer Research UK, said, ‘Compared to where we were a few decades ago, people get a lot more sun.
‘They travel more abroad and go on cheap package holidays more often, sometimes several times a year.
The trend of looking tanned is becoming more common, and there is a beauty standard for having a tan that needs to be challenged.
‘There is no such thing as healthy tanning, a tan is a sign of damage. We try to encourage people to master their skin color and to denormalize the use of tanning and tanning beds. ‘
Nearly nine out of 10 skin cancers are caused by too much sun, and experts warned that the desire to reach the ‘beauty standard’ of looking tanned could be fatal. Pictured: Two tourists enjoy their holidays at Figueretes beach on August 17, 2020 in Ibiza, Spain on Monday
She added that the increase in the risk of skin cancer is also partly due to the aging population and people living longer.
Elderly people are more likely to develop and die from melanoma.
Miss Betts said the higher rates among men are likely due to being diagnosed at a later stage, when treatment is less successful.
“Men are less likely to have problems examined and often male bravado means not going to the doctor,” she said.
People who burn only once every two years are about three times as likely to develop melanoma. Pictured: Sunseekers flock to Figueretes beach in Ibiza, Spain on Monday
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK chief executive said: ‘There are many benefits to the going out, which are now more than ever felt due to the ongoing periods of lockdown.
But something we should all be aware of is sun safety and how we can reduce our risk of melanoma.
Even though many summer holidays on beaches abroad have stalled, you can still get burned in the British sun.
“With rates soaring, it has never been more important to stay safe in the sun and contact your primary care physician if you notice an unusual change in your skin.”
In the early 1970s, 1.5 out of 100,000 people in the UK would die from skin cancer. But this has now risen to 3.8. Pictured: Sunbathers take to the beach at Malmousque in Marseille, southern France, in July
Cancer Research urges people to avoid the sun, wear sunscreen, and cover themselves with hats and T-shirts between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Currently, 91 percent of melanoma patients in England are diagnosed at an early stage and 91 percent will survive their disease for five years or more.
The first sign of melanoma is often a new birthmark or a change in the appearance of an existing birthmark.
Other skin changes, such as a rash, dimpling, or redness, may also be a sign.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on your body, but it is most common on the back in men and on the legs in women.