Skin cancer facts

Dr Mark Goodfield, consultant dermatologist and president of the British Association of Dermatologists, explains what causes skin cancer and how to avoid it

There are three main types of skin cancer:

Malignant melanoma is the most serious, as it is more likely to spread in the body.

Basal cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma

Around 2,300 people in the UK die as a result of skin cancer each year. Over 80 per cent of cases are caused by overexposure to the sun. Sunburn increases the risk, as does having pale skin that freckles easily, a family history, or having more than 50 moles.

Over 100,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 9,500 of malignant melanoma are diagnosed each year in the UK.

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