Britons still failing to protect against skin cancer

In collaboration with the Press Association

A worrying number of Brits are not doing enough to protect themselves against skin cancer, even though people have become more worried about the disease, a survey has found.

Research by the Institute of Cancer Research has found that over a third of people do not use sunscreen while sunbathing, and nearly half of the 2,000 people surveyed were unable to describe the signs of skin cancer.

Despite the lack of sensible precautions, 60 per cent of respondents claimed to be more worried about skin cancer than they were ten years ago.

However, one positive piece of news to come out of the research is that the majority of people - 82 per cent - recognise the danger posed by sunbeds and do not use them.

Rebecca Russell, manager of Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign said: "Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and the number of people diagnosed each year has more than doubled since the early 80s.

"Up to eight in ten skin cancers could be prevented by being SunSmart, so it's very important to be aware of how to enjoy the sun safely," she continued.

"Sunscreens can help to protect against skin cancer, but they're not enough on their own. In strong sunlight, our best advice is to use factor 15+ sunscreen, seek shade between 11am and 3pm, cover up and take care not to burn."

More than 75,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year and estimates suggest that the incidence of melanoma skin cancer - the most deadly form - is likely to treble over the next 30 years.