Cheap foreign holidays may trigger skin cancer: Research
Last Updated: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 00:00

London: People over 60s are now about five
times more likely to suffer from deadly skin cancer because of
their cheap foreign holidays and sun beds 30 years ago.

The Cancer Research UK study found that the risk of skin
cancer has more than quadrupled in the last three decades as
the older generations suffer the effects of the first mass
holidays to sunny foreign destinations.

According to the research, malignant melanoma is the
deadliest form of skin cancer and incidence rates have risen
dramatically since the 1970s.

People in their 60s and 70s have seen the biggest
increase over the last three decades, from seven cases per
100,000 people in the mid 1970s to 36 cases per 100,000 in
2004 to 06, The Telegraph reported.

According to the charity, many older people who are now
experiencing skin cancer would have been enjoying cheap
package holidays in the 1970s.

This was when "sunburn before suntan was a common ritual"
and was the time when sunbeds arrived in the UK, it said.

Caroline Cerny of Cancer Research UK said: "A change in
the culture of tanning including the explosion of cheap
package holidays and the introduction of sunbeds in the 70s
means we`re now seeing alarming rates of melanoma for an
entire age group.

"The battle against melanoma is far from won. Today the
problem threatens to get worse as teenagers continue to crave
a tan on the beach and top it up cheaply on sunbeds.

"Already, skin cancer is predicted to become the fourth
most common cancer for men and for women in the UK by 2024.

"We must continue to try and stop this pattern of
behaviour or melanoma rates in future generations will hit an
all time high."

She said people should use a high factor sunscreen and
avoid the temptation to redden or burn in order to get a tan.

Those with fair skin, freckles and lots of moles should
also take extra care in the sun, she advised.

Over 10,000 cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed
only in the UK each year, the analysis by Cancer Research UK
said and predicted that by 2024, rates of the disease in
people aged 60 to 79 will rise by a third.

UK death rates have more than doubled from 1.2 per
100,000 in 1971 to 2.6 per 100,000 in 2007, according to the


First Published: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 00:00

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