Skin cancer cases in UK reach record high

Researchers have projected a record high of 20,800 cases of skin cancer this year, as experts are urging the UK public to stay safe in the sun.

New analysis from Cancer Research UK shows that melanoma skin cancer rates have increased by almost one third in the last 10 years.

Around 17,000 cases of melanoma each year are preventable – nine in 10 cases in the UK are caused by exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and sunbeds.  

Michelle Mitchell is the chief executive of Cancer Research UK. She said: ‘Survival from cancers including melanoma continues to improve, demonstrating the substantial progress made possible by research. But it’s vital that people try to reduce their risk of getting the disease in the first place.’

The increase trend is seen across all age groups – although researchers found that the biggest rise was in adults aged 80 or over. This group has seen an increase in incidence rates of 57% over the past decade.  

Rates are also rising for young adults between the ages of 25-49, with a 7% increase in incidence in the last ten years.  


Another recent study suggests that obesity may contribute to 40% of new cancer cases, and it links it to 32 different types of the disease.

Carried out by researchers from the Lund University in Sweden, the study monitored the weight and lifestyle of 4.1 million people over four decades.

During this time, some 332,500 cancers were identified. The researchers found that 40% of these cases were linked to excess weight – it was previously believed that only 25% of cancers were obesity-related.

In addition, the findings suggest that obesity is a factor in 32 types of the disease. This is more than double the number reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2016.

The new cancer types include types of head and neck cancer, cervical cancer, malignant melanoma, gastric tumours, vulval and penis cancer.

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar