A study done by Public Health England (PHE) has found that the number of hospital admission cases linked to malignant melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer have risen from 87685 in 2007 to 123808 in 2011. This is equal to a 41% increase, excluding skin cancer patients treated as day patients.
Health authorities claim that this surge indicates people are not taking sufficient care to protect themselves from this mostly preventable disease.
The chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support said that UK skin cancer mortality rates are among the highest in the world, yet people are still not taking the risks seriously.
Skin cancers are the most common cancer form in England, according to the British Association of Dermatologists. It states that the number of skin cancer cases equals the combined total of all other types of cancer.
The increase in cheap holidays and tanning as a trend has been blamed by health authorities.
A spokesman for the association, Jonathon Major, said this trend has seen an inevitable increase in skin cancer rates and the resultant financial and health burden on the nation.
The study discovered that the number of medical procedures increased in line with the increase in the number of skin cancer cases, resulting in a huge cost to the hospitals.
The director of the South West Knowledge and Intelligence Team at PHE, Julia Verne, said surgery was necessary for 71.5% of melanomas and 78% of non-melanoma skin cancers. During 2011, more than 16000 skin flaps and grafts were needed for treatment, mostly on the head and neck of patients.
The study revealed that the cost for inpatient treatments during 2011 was in excess of £95m.
Image Credit: Traci Lawson