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Frequently asked questions on skin cancer and melanoma

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Melanoma has doubled in incidence since the 1990s Melanoma has doubled in incidence since the 1990s and its incidence continues to increase. But patient awareness remains poor

Skin cancer is increasing in the UK at a faster rate than any other cancer. Health care professionals need to become vigilant in checking patient’s skin and learning to recognise any changes.

In the absence of NHS skin cancer screening, patients need to understand how to perform skin self-examination and detect changes in their own skin. This article answers 10 common questions asked by patients on how to recognise and prevent skin cancer.

Should we worry about melanoma and how common is this cancer in the UK?

Melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 5% of all new cancer cases.1 Melanoma has doubled in incidence since 1990s, and incidence continues to increase, projected to rise by 7% in the UK in the next 15 years, with 32 cases per 100,00 population by 2035.

The current mortality rate from melanoma is 3.7 per 100,00 population,1 so melanoma is a significant cancer and cause of death, as well being a cancer that is increasing in prevalence and incidence.1

What are the risk factors for melanoma?

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