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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
Cancer warning to sun seekers
Woman on beach
Sun lovers have been urged to take precautions
People returning from holiday have been urged to be on the lookout for early signs of skin cancer by Scottish health experts.

The appeal follows a renewed warning that skin cancer has reached epidemic levels north of the border.

The number of new cases has risen from 40 per week in the 1970s, to about 140.

Health experts said people can do more damage to their skin in two weeks abroad than in a whole year in Scotland.

Dr Jamie Inglis
Dr Jamie Inglis: Epidemic in Scotland
Simple precautions like wearing a hat and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun's rays should not be ignored, they stressed.

Dr Jamie Inglis, consultant in public health at the Health Education Board for Scotland, said: "There is an epidemic of skin cancer in Scotland.

"In the mid-70s there were around 2,000 cases a year and most recently that figure has risen to 7,000 cases of skin cancer a year.

"That's a rise from about 40 cases of skin cancer a week to 140.

"Essentially, that's 4,000 or 5,000 extra cases of skin cancer we see every year, over and above what we saw 20-odd years ago."

Dr Inglis said the cases were a "result of a tan being fashionable".

People, he said, were prepared to expose their skin to harmful rays from the sun or from tanning machines, ignoring the possible consequences.

Women are statistically more likely to develop skin cancer, but men are more likely to die from it, mainly because they leave it too late before seeing their doctor.

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 ON THIS STORY
Eleanor Bradford reports
"Two weeks abroad can do more damage than a whole year in Scotland."
See also:

24 Jun 02 | Health
10 Jun 02 | Health
03 May 02 | Health
28 Mar 02 | Health
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