Skin cancer is a growing problem in the UK. We're here to change that.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, and rates continue to rise.
At least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed each year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year in the UK - that's seven people every day.
Whilst we are getting better at understanding how skin cancer works, we still have a long way to go. On average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically loses 20 years of their life, and rates of malignant melanoma are rising faster than any other type of common cancer.
There are three types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
You can read more about the types of skin cancer below:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma
UV exposure is the main preventable cause of skin cancer, so here are a few tips on how to stay safe in the sun:
Clothing should always be your first line of defence against damage from the sun, with sunscreen being used in addition to clothes, including a hat, t-shirt and UV protective sunglasses.
Find the right sunscreen
Use a sunscreen of SPF30 (SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’) and refers to the level of protection against UVB radiation, linked to skin cancer. Look for a four or ideally five star UVA rating on the bottle which will help protect from UVA radiation, associated with skin ageing. You may also find that the UVA rating is represented by the letters ‘UVA’ inside a circle. Keep babies and toddlers should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Get your timing right
Skin needs time to absorb sunscreen, so apply generously about 20 to 30 minutes before going out. Reapply frequently at least every two hours, as it can come off when sweating or through rubbing.
The sun tends to be strongest in the middle of the day, so find some shade typically between 11am and 3pm, especially if you are very fair skinned. Just 10 minutes of strong sunshine is all it takes to burn pale skin.