Skin Cancer doubles in 20 years

The Eastern Daily Press reports 21st April that “Skin cancer cases more than double in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire” This is the type of medical problem patients fear. and it is so important that treatments for these malignant threats are not rationed covertly.

Skin cancer cases in the east of England have more than doubled over the last 20 years, new figures out today show.

Cancer Research UK says about 18 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every year – equating to 1,300 patients being given the grim news.

In the early 1990s eight people in every 100,000, were diagnosed annually in the region.

The figures comes nearly a month after specialists at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said skin cancer in East Anglia was “epidemic” and set to get worse as numbers will hit their peak in 2040.

Cancer Research UK puts the doubling of diagnosis of malignant melanoma down to the start of package holidays to Europe in the 1960s, the need for “must have” tans, a boom in sunbed use and better detection of skin cancer.

Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK spokesman, said: “Sadly more and more people in the east of England are being diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year.

“But the good news is that survival is among the highest for any cancer. More than eight in 10 people will survive the disease.

“We know overexposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.

“This means, in many cases, the disease can be prevented, so it is essential to get into good sun safety habits.”

Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and more than 2,000 people die from it each year. Nationally cases are five times higher than 40 years ago.

Tips on how to protect skin this summer

■Spend time in the shade if your shadow is shorter than you.

If your shadow is shorter than you are, then the sun is strong. During the UK summer, the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm.

■Wear a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses when the sun is strong. Wide brimmed hats or foreign legion style caps are best.

■It is recommended people use at least factor 15 sunscreen with a high star rating when the sun is strong. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply regularly to make sure you get the level of protection on the bottle.

BBC News reports: Skin cancer rates ‘surge since 1970s’

 

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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