Skin care 'essential' to avoid rising cancer threat

Over 50s concerned about the potential threat posed by skin cancer have been advised to make sure they take the necessary steps to protect their skin this summer.

Rebecca Freeman of the British Association of Dermatologists said that with skin cancer cases "undoubtedly" on the rise, increased public awareness of treatment and prevention methods are necessary to combat the effects.

Figures released by the South West Public Health Observatory this week suggested a doubling in the rate of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, between 1985-87 and 2004-06.

While Ms Freeman conceded that an increase in foreign holidays and tanning has played a part in this rise, she maintained that correct skin care techniques can still allow for safe sunbathing.

She said: "No one wants to spend the entire summer indoors, so taking a few steps when in the sun will help protect you from sunburn and the risk of skin cancer."

Ms Freeman went on to remind people to use and reapply sunscreen diligently, as well as to keep covered up or under shade when the sun is at its brightest.

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