Skin cancer could strike one in five people because of increased exposure to the sun, experts say

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Skin cancer could strike one in five people because of increased exposure to the sun and more foreign holidays, experts say

  • One in five people will contract skin cancer during their lifetime, experts say
  • Cases have hit a record level and specialists believe that an ageing population  
  • As well as sun exposure and increase in cancers reported are behind the rise

Around one in five people in England will contract skin cancer during their lifetime, say experts. 

Cases have hit a record level and the specialists believe an ageing population and improvements to how cancers are reported are behind the rise. 

Increasing exposure to the sun and more foreign holidays may also be to blame.

There were 224,092 skin cancers recorded in England in 2019, a rise of 26 per cent on the 177,677 recorded in 2013, according to figures analysed by NHS Digital and the British Association of Dermatologists. 

Around one in five people in England will contract skin cancer during their lifetime, say experts (closeup of an skin examination)

Around one in five people in England will contract skin cancer during their lifetime, say experts (closeup of an skin examination) 

Increasing exposure to the sun and more foreign holidays may also be to blame (stock image)

Cases have hit a record level and the specialists believe an ageing population and improvements to how cancers are reported are behind the rise (stock image of a mole exhibiting signs of melanoma)

Cases have hit a record level and the specialists believe an ageing population and improvements to how cancers are reported are behind the rise. Increasing exposure to the sun and more foreign holidays may also be to blame (stock images, left shows a mole exhibiting signs of melanoma and right a woman with sunburn)

Between 2013 and 2019 the total was more than 1.4million. Dr Tanya Bleiker, the association’s president, said: ‘We are fast approaching a quarter of a million cases a year in England. We estimate that one in five people will have a skin cancer in their lifetime. 

‘While more needs to be done to prevent skin cancer, we also need to increase the resources available to tackle the rise.’ 

A breakdown shows there were 15,332 melanomas in 2019, up from 12,885 in 2013. Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers but can be more deadly. 

There were also 47,977 cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas in 2019, up from 34,672 in 2013. When caught early this skin cancer is mostly curable. 

There were 158,934 basal cell carcinomas in 2019, up from 128,406 in 2013. This form of the disease does not usually spread. 

There were also 1,849 rare skin cancers in 2019, up from 1,714 in 2013. 

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