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Skin cancer signs 'not recognised'

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People are putting themselves and their children at risk of skin cancer as research suggests that many are unable to recognise symptoms and are unaware of the dangers of sun exposure.

Half (49%) of British people believe their personal risk of skin cancer is low or non-existent, research by Nuffield Health finds.

More than a third do not think they could identify symptoms of skin cancer, such as new moles, itchy or bleeding moles or moles that change colour or shape, the study, carried out with 2,000 people, also finds.

Despite warnings that sunburn can lead to skin cancer, a third say they are burned once a year or more.

Nearly a quarter of parents with children of school age say their child is sunburnt at least once a year and 26% of younger parents aged between 16 and 34 say their child burns at least three times a year.

The health charity said its UK hospitals have seen a 16% rise in skin cancer cases among 16 to 34-year-olds since 2007.

Paul Banwell, consultant plastic surgeon at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital, said: “There is an inherent naivety among people in the UK about the risks of skin cancer. Because we live in a climate with relatively little sunshine and lots of rain, people believe they are not at risk. But this is a fallacy.”

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Readers' comments (3)

  • I'm seeing many more young peple asking for mole checks. They do seem more aware, but there will always be those who ignore warnings. Tanning beds/tubes should be banned from all gyms to reduce the temptation for the `perfect tan'

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  • Basal cell carcinoma (which is the most common form of skin cancer) is also associated with medtronic infuse. Its a product that is used to help stimulate bone growth in the spine.
    http://www.publichealthwatchdog.com/national-law-firm-cautions-spinal-fusion-patients-about-controversial-medtronic-infuse-bone-graft/

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  • I was bitten by a mosquito in 2010 on my chest and it left a skin discolouration like a small bruise. It never bled or itched but was irregular and a pinky brown colour. Last July I kept looking at it as it did look a different colour I asked one of the surgeons at my work place he said to get it checked out. My GP said it didnt look like a melanoma and also the consultant at the dermatology clinic said it didnt look like a melanoma but it was unusual so she took a punch biopsy. The results came back as a malignant melanoma to say I was shocvked was an understatement. I had it surgically removed and it was still superficial so I have been very lucky. I am fair skinned but tan - I also used sunbeds at an early age and have burnt on several occasions. I loved the sun but I wear factor 30 - 50 sun creme now and I do not sunbathe - a tan is not worth dying for

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