Warning as skin cancer rates soar
More than two Britons under 35 are diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer every day, new research suggests.
Rates of malignant melanoma have tripled among those aged 15 to 34 since the late 1970s, according to analysis by Cancer Research UK.
Then, there were 1.8 cases of melanoma per 100,000 people in this age group, rising to 5.9 now.
It is thought sunbeds are playing a role in boosting cancer rates among young people, together with not taking care on summer holidays.
Launching its annual SunSmart campaign, which promotes the use of suntan lotion and covering up in midday sun, the charity said more than 900 young Britons are newly diagnosed with the disease each year.
It also warned that older people are at risk, with skin cancer rates rising among all age groups. In 2007, there were 10,800 new cases among all ages, jumping to 11,700 cases in 2008 - an 8.5% rise.
Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: "While some sunshine is good for us, going red and burning can be dangerous.
"The most important thing people can do to reduce their chances of developing skin cancer is to make sure they don't get red or burn. And the best way to do that is to get to know your skin and how long you can safely stay in the sun, and also avoid sunbeds.
"Sunburn means that UV rays have penetrated the skin cells, causing damage which builds up over time and increases the risk of skin cancer.
"The explosion in melanoma rates we are seeing now reflects people's tanning behaviour in the past and the desire to sport a suntan - a trend which began in the Seventies with the dawn of cheap package holidays. All too often, holidaymakers thought getting sunburnt was part of the process of getting a tan."