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Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 01:11 GMT 02:11 UK
Britons warned over skin cancer
Britons are urged to check for signs of skin cancer
Few Britons recognise the telltale signs of skin cancer, a survey suggests.

Research by NOP found that just 4% of people have heard of actinic keratoses - dry scaly patches on the skin which can indicate a risk of skin cancer.

Warning signs
Mole or mark changing shape or colour
Mole or mark becoming ragged in outline
Raised bump with crusty ulcer
Small lesion which does not heal
The survey also suggests that many people would fail to seek medical attention if they found new or unusual marks on their skin.

The findings are being published on Tuesday to mark the start of a campaign called Solar Craze.

The campaign, which is being supported by Marie Curie Cancer Care and the British Association of Dermatologists, aims to encourage people to consult a doctor if any new or unusual marks appear on their skin.

Medical attention

The NOP survey of 2,000 people found that just one in four of those questioned had had their skin checked by a nurse or doctor in the past five years.

But it also found that two in five people would ask a friend or relative to look at a new mark that appeared on their skin.

They also said they would seek medical advice if the marks got any bigger or changed in any way.

Dr Neil Walker of the British Association of Dermatologists said people should be aware of changes on their skin.

"They should have their skin checked if there are any marks which are changing in shape or size, crusting or bleeding spontaneously," he said.

Danger signs

Dr Teresa Tate, medical adviser to Marie Curie Cancer Care urged people to check for the early signs of the disease.

"For many people in Britain, sun safety advice comes too late and they need to be vigilant in checking their skin for the early signs of cancer," she said.

The incidence of skin cancer is increasing and more than 46,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year.

See also:

10 Jun 02 | Health
03 May 02 | Health
20 Sep 01 | Health
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