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Lifestyle cancers show sharp rise

Rates of the dangerous skin cancer melanoma have risen by more than 40% in the past decade, making it the fastest rising cancer in the UK, according to new research.

Cancer Research UK made the claim as it published figures on cancers linked to sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, and obesity.

The charity said around half of these cancers could be prevented just be people changing their lifestyles.

Statistics from 1995 to 2004 show that malignant melanoma has risen by 43%, mouth cancer by 23%, and womb cancer by 21%, while kidney cancer has jumped 14% over the same period.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information, said: "We're very concerned that cases of malignant melanoma are spiralling.  

"Most cases of this disease could be prevented if people protected themselves in the sun and took care not to burn.

"Most cases of mouth cancer occur in people who smoke or chew tobacco and regularly drink alcohol.

"As well as encouraging people to reduce their risk of mouth cancer, our priority is to raise awareness of the early warning signs of the disease, as this helps doctors find cancers at an early stage when treatment is easier and there is a good chance of a cure."

Cancer Research UK

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