February 2023

HRH Princess Beatrice meets scientists tackling the UK’s rising skin cancer numbers in first visit as Patron of the British Skin Foundation

HRH Princess Beatrice, in her newly appointed role as Patron of the British Skin Foundation, today visited London’s prestigious Blizard Institute at Queen Mary University of London to see first-hand how scientists are tackling the UK rising skin cancer numbers.

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 annually, and the disease is killing over 2,500 people each year in the UK - that's seven people every day.

The British Skin Foundation has been funding vital research into all skin diseases at centres throughout the UK for many years now including its long history of funding skin cancer research at Queen Mary.  Whilst dedicated to funding research, the charity is also committed to raising awareness and educating people about different skin conditions, helping to reduce stigma and promote understanding.

On becoming Patron of the British Skin Foundation, Princess Beatrice said ‘I am so pleased to be able to support the work of the British Skin Foundation. I have admired their work and research for many years, and they have helped so many people through the foundations pioneering efforts. I am grateful to be working with them, to learn as much as I can about their ground-breaking endeavours.’

Today, the Princess spoke to Nicky Ewart, a survivor of skin cancer. Nicky explained the fear she felt when she was first diagnosed, the treatment she underwent and her joy at having now made a full recovery. As the Ladies Captain for Denham Golf Club, Nicky also chose the British Skin Foundation as their Charity of the Year and ensured a huge amount of support and donations for the charity.

Nicky explained ‘Being diagnosed with skin cancer is extremely frightening and it’s a time filled with a lot of uncertainty and worry. My skin cancer was thankfully caught early but had to be cut out which can leave scarring and part of my ear was removed. A lot of others at the golf club have also had skin cancer so as a group we felt passionately that the British Skin Foundation was a charity we would love to support.’

The huge number of people whose lives skin cancer touches, either directly or through a loved one, highlights how important research is. Despite occurrences increasing, melanoma skin cancer now has an 87% survival rate thanks to research like the work being supported by the British Skin Foundation. 

British Skin Foundation’s CEO Matthew Patey commented ‘We very much welcome HRH Princess Beatrice’s involvement as our new Patron. 60% of British people currently suffer from, or have suffered with, a skin disease or skin cancer with many being physically or emotionally affected for life. HRH Princess Beatrice’s support will continue to bring an invaluable focus on the important work we do in trying to alleviate this suffering.

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