A new study has found that British pensioners are now seven times more at risk of developing malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, compared to what they were four decades ago.
According to the experts, the popularity of package holidays is a possible reason behind this increase
The new report of the Cancer Research UK has shown that men aged 65 and over are about 10 times more likely to develop malignant melanoma compared to their parents’ generation. On the other hand, older women are nearly five times more likely to be diagnosed with the potentially deadly cancer type.
Approximately 5,700 pensioners in the UK are now diagnosed with the deadliest skin cancer type each year as compared to only 600 in the mid-1970s.
The experts said that even though age plays an important role in triggering melanoma, the boom in cheap package holiday deals since 1960s is mainly blamed for the major surge in four decades.
The researchers suggest getting sun burnt once every two years can triple the risk of developing the malignant melanoma.
Most of the skin cancer patients, who were diagnosed for the disease today, had suffered the sunburn several decades ago.
The experts suggested said the number of cases rose when holidaying overseas became more common. Some of the cases were blamed on the trend for a tan and increased use of sunbeds.
“It’s worrying to see melanoma rates increasing at such a fast pace,” said Professor Richard Marais, a skin cancer expert from Cancer Research UK, Manchester.
Approximately 13,300 people of different age group suffer from malignant melanoma in Britain each year. This makes melanoma the fifth most common cancer type overall in the UK. Moreover, it is the second most common cancer diagnosed in young people between age group 15 and 34. 2,100 people in the UK die from the disease each year.