Four in five sufferers of skin cancer now survive


More than 80 per cent of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will now survive the disease, scientists have said. Yet British sunbathing habits mean the number of cases continues to rise.

Researchers at Cancer Research UK hailed a “massive improvement” in 10-year survival rates since the early 1970s, when a person’s chances of surviving the disease were roughly 50-50. Since then, new treatments have been developed amid better awareness of the symptoms.

Nearly 13,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year in the UK. In 2010 there were 2,200 deaths. Another 10,000 were diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, which caused 546 deaths.

Cancer Research UK head  Dr Harpal Kumar, said the rise  is “likely to be down to our sunbathing habits and the introduction of cheap package holidays in previous decades”.