Why skin cancer is on the rise
Over a period of 50 years, the chances of developing melanoma or other forms of skin cancer increased to seven times higher. Why is that? The reason may surprise you at first but will make sense once you think about it. According to Cancer Research UK, cheap holiday packages are to blame – since more and more pensioners are making use of these types of holidays.
Alan Melcher, a professor of clinical oncology and biotherapy at Leeds University, said the statistics reflect the increased availability of cheap holidays in the sun. “It’s a legacy that is coming through from the time of the early package holidays when people got sunburnt on holiday and didn’t know the risk they were undergoing,” he said.
Melanoma numbers the UK
About 13,300 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK each year, making it the fifth most common cancer overall and the second most common cancer in young adults aged 15-34. Each year, 2,100 people die from the disease.
Pensioners are rapidly becoming a group to worry about as well. With the uprise of cheap holiday packages to places where the sun never seems to hide (which most people are not used to as well) the numbers of melanoma cases have been rising accordingly. Of course, the chances of developing melanoma are higher as you get older, but those chances are now becoming more and more likely.
So: What do we do?
As a pensioner, you’ll need to find balance in enjoying your freedom and the sun that comes with the holidays you take, with the awareness of the danger of UV light. Make sure to use sunscreen with a sufficient factor and stay out of direct sunlight in the hours where the sun is at its strongest.
If you are not comfortable about any spot on your skin, join the SkinVision program and download the app to perform a self-check as a first step.