Young people at the greatest risk of skin cancer

Figures released by Cancer Research UK have revealed that more than two people under the age of 35 years are diagnosed every day in Britain as suffering from malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer

Melanoma rates in 15 to 34 year olds have tripled since the late 1970s, and this rise is expected to continue. A major factor contributing to this rise is the use of sunbeds. Using a sunbed before the age of 35 years can increase the risk of skin cancer by up to 75%. Figures also show that young women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer when compared with young men.   

In Britain, the number of young women aged 15 to 34 being diagnosed with malignant melanoma is 8 per every 100,000, compared with just 4 men from the same age group. 

Symptoms of melanoma include changes in the shape and colour of moles or inflamed or bleeding moles. Melanomas in women are most common on the legs and on men they are most common on the truck.

While some sunshine is good for our bodies it is important to know our skin and to take sensible precautions to enjoy the sun safely. Four out of five cases of skin cancer are typically preventable and this underlines the importance of preventing sunburn.   

The under-18s are already banned from using sunbeds in Scotland and this law is shortly to come into force in England and Wales.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
An organ with the ability to make and secrete certain fluids. Full medical glossary
Describes a tumour resulting from uncontrolled cell division that can invade other tissues and may spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
A malignant tumour arising from pigmented cells or melanocytes, most often in the skin Full medical glossary
A craving to eat non-food substances such as earth or coal. Full medical glossary