Scotland is perhaps not the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of Skin Cancer. With a reputation for grey skies and constant drizzle, you would be forgiven for assuming that melanoma was not an issue worthy of Scottish concern. You would however, be wrong.

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Official statistics for Scotland have shown that cases of skin cancer have increased by 37% over the past decade. Certainly, the most common cancers for both sexes remain lung, breast and bowel cancers. In total they make up almost 50% of the cancers diagnosed in Scotland. But rates of skin cancer have grown at a rate far faster than anyone would have expected. Cases of malignant melanoma increased more than any of the ten most common cancers in the decade up to 2012. It is a problem that cannot be ignored. Even in places with climates considered ‘un-sunny’, you may still be at serious risk.

Dr Aileen Keel, Scotland’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, said: “These figures are yet another stark warning of the dangers of unsafe tanning – either in the sun or, most commonly, using sunbeds.’

“The increase in the number of people being diagnosed with melanoma may in part be down to better awareness and improved diagnosis, but there is no doubt that unsafe tanning remains a big issue, particularly among the young.’