Skin cancer on the rise among middle-aged people in the South West

Bad sunburn can be responsible for skin cancer in later life Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The number of people in their 50s being diagnosed with skin cancer in the South West is higher than the national average. According to Cancer Research UK,

  • Around four people in their 50s in the South West are diagnosed with the most dangerous form of cancer, malignant melanoma, every week.

  • The number of diagnoses across Britain for people in their 50s has more than tripled over the last 30 years.

  • 30 years ago malignant melanoma was the 17th most common cancer among people in their 50s in Britain. Now it is the fifth most common.

  • In the South West, 1,400 people of all ages are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every year. Around 250 die from the disease

Angela Nicholson, 44, from Burnham on Sea, knows from personal experience the importance of spotting skin cancer early.

The nurse from Musgrove Hospital in Taunton was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2002 aged 35.

This summer, Cancer Research UK are working to get people to recognise the warning signs of skin cancer. They are putting out leaflets in pharmacies and cafes in branches of Tesco