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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Skin cancer cases 'on the rise'
skin cancer operation
Skin cancer has increased across the UK
A record number of skin cancer cases have been recorded at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, according to new statistics.

More than 1,500 people were diagnosed with skin cancer at the hospital's screening unit last year - more than double the figure from 20 years ago.

Of those, 126 had malignant melanoma - the most deadly form of the disease.

Sandip Varma, a dermatological surgeon, said cases have more than doubled since the early 1980s.

Suntan warning

Macmillan Cancer Relief said people undergoing treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, should be extra careful as the temperature rises because their skin may be ultra-sensitive to the light and more susceptible to burning.

In the last 10 years the rate of skin cancer has risen faster than any other cancer in the UK
Anthony Sullivan, skin cancer specialist

In the UK there are more than 70,000 cases of melanoma and non-melanoma reported each year.

Malignant melanoma affects over 7,000 people in the UK with 1,600 deaths a year.

Experts believe the majority of skin cancers could have been prevented by taking precautions against the sun's ultra-violet rays.

"In the last 10 years the rate of skin cancer has risen faster than any other cancer in the UK," Anthony Sullivan, a Macmillan skin cancer nurse specialist at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, said.

"If we don't change our attitudes to tanning and sun awareness, I fear our rates of skin cancer will just keep on increasing causing more harm to the public."

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