Statement on malignant melanoma

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The latest statistics on melanoma highlight an increase in rates of malignant melanoma across the UK1. Malignant melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and the Public Health Agency is today urging everyone to take care in the sun and to avoid the use of sunbeds to reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and the number of people who develop it is increasing. The majority of cases are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Sunbeds aren't a safe alternative to tanning outdoors. Like the sun, sunbeds give out harmful UV rays and can also cause skin cancer.

The advice from the Public Health Agency is to avoid the use of sunbeds and whether at home or abroad take care in the sun by:
• staying in the shade;
• covering up and wearing a sun hat - the more skin that is covered by clothing the better the protection;
• applying a sunscreen generously and regularly (use at least factor 15 sunscreen).

Further information

Notes to the editor

1 Skin cancer - UK incidence statistics