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  1. ITV Report

Most Merseysiders "unaware of skin cancer signs"

People applying suncream Photo: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

Nearly 9 in 10 people on Merseyside are unaware of the early warning signs of skin cancer, according to an independent survey.

The poll was commissioned by Liverpool-based North West Cancer Research, as part of its #suncreamselfie awareness campaign encouraging people to stay safe in the sun this summer.

Results show that one third of those surveyed revealed they have never checked their skin for signs of skin cancer, despite 82% admitting to having been sunburned.

87.5%
Percentage of Merseysiders unaware of skin cancer signs. Source: North West Cancer Research

The survey also revealed that one in five people in the region don't use sun cream when it's sunny in the UK, preferring to only use sun cream when abroad.

58% revealed they have used a sunbed, which is 10% more than any other region in the North West of England. Alarmingly 94% of sunbed users are aware of the skin cancer risks associated, and still choose to use them.

Latest statistics reveal that between 2013 and 2015 119 people in Liverpool were diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer, an increase of 10% since 2012. Between 2013 and 2015 there 14 skin cancer deaths in the city.

Liverpool is ahead of the curve for rising skin cancer rates, as nationally, incidence rates for melanoma skin cancer are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035.

The charity is urging people all over the North West to get creative when applying sun cream, take a selfie and upload it to social media with the hash tag #suncreamselfie.

"By raising awareness of skin cancer, its symptoms and the associated risk factors of over exposure to UV rays, we hope we can encourage people to stay safe in the sun and reduce the number of skin cancer cases in Merseyside and across the North West."

– Alastair Richards, CEO, North West Cancer Research