This site is intended for health professionals only

Skin cancer survival rate increases

More than eight out of 10 people with skin cancer will now survive the disease, a new report from the UK's leading cancer charity has revealed. 

Ten year survival of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, has reached 80% in men and 90% in women. 

Forty years ago, the survival rate in men was 38% and 58% for women. 

According to Cancer Research UK, the improvements are likely due to improvements in treatment, early diagnosis and increased awareness of the symptoms. 

Professor Richard Marais, director of the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute for Cancer Research based at the University of Manchester, said: “More and more people are beating skin cancer but we can't stop there and we need to develop better treatments for the two out of 10 where things don't look so good.” 

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: “Skin cancer is one of the fastest rising cancers in the UK, which is likely to be down to our sunbathing habits and the introduction of cheap package holidays in previous decades. 

“But the earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.”

Nearly 13,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year in the UK. 

The full report is available on the Cancer Research UK website.