More than eight out of ten people who develop malignant melanoma, the most fatal form of skin cancer, will now survive the disease.
Severe sunburn can cause skin cancer
A new report from Cancer Research UK has said that ten year survival has reached 80% in men and 90% in women, a huge increase from the 38% and 58% in men and women respectively 40 years ago.
Improvements in treatment, early diagnosis and increased awareness of symptoms are thought to be responsible for the improved statistics.
Director of the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, Professor Richard Marais, said: “Forty years ago, only around half of those diagnosed with skin cancer were surviving, so eight out of 10 is a massive improvement.
“More and more people are beating skin cancer but we can’t stop there and we need to develop better treatments for the two out of 10 where things don’t look so good.”
Around 35 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma, almost 13,000 a year according to Cancer Research UK.
Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Our research is revealing more about skin cancer: what causes it, how we can better prevent it and how we can develop targeted treatments to help more people beat the disease.
“By funding more research we can bring forward the day when even more people survive.
“Skin cancer is one of the fastest rising cancers in the UK, which is likely to be down to our sunbathing habits and the introduction of cheap package holidays in previous decades.
“But the earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.”
Sunburn and sunbeds are thought to be a strong factor in a number of melanoma cancer cases. Cancer Research UK has been developing revolutionary drugs such as vemurafenib which does not cure skin cancer but can give patients valuable extra months if they have advanced melanoma.
Some health insurance policies can include comprehensive cancer care and access to the latest drugs and treatments.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013