Over half of people with moles which are cancerous or at risk of skin cancer have a history of sunburn or sunbed use, according to figures released by The MOLE Clinic.
In the past 12 months, the London-based independent skin cancer screening clinic screened more than 10,000 moles – half for the NHS and half for private patients. This is a record figure in the company’s 10 years of skin cancer screening.
Of the 10,294 moles screened, 3,229 moles or 31% were diagnosed as either skin cancers or at risk of skin cancer and required treatment. Significantly, 1,755 or 54% of people with moles diagnosed as either skin cancers or at risk of skin cancer reported either significant sunburn or sunbed use – with many sunburns occurring during childhood or as teenagers.
Dr Sarah Hull, an NHS skin specialist working with The MOLE Clinic, says: “These figures are a timely reminder of the need to teach people about the dangers of sunburn and to discourage people from using sunbeds. Anecdotally, many people with skin cancer tell us about sunburns in their childhood or teenage years. Clearly, people with a history of sunburn or sunbed use need to be very aware of their moles and anyone with a new or changing mole should see a specialist without delay.”
Around 2,750 people died from skin cancer in 2010 in the UK, that’s nearly 8 every day.
- Malignant melanoma incidence rates in Britain have more than quadrupled over the last thirty years.
- More than two young adults (aged 15-34) are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every day in the UK, and it is the second most common cancer in this age group.
- Malignant melanoma is almost twice as common in young women (up to age 34) as in young men, but more men die from it.
- Over the last thirty years, rates of malignant melanoma in Britain have risen faster than any of the current top ten cancers.
Blog article written by The Mole Clinic