HOLIDAYMAKERS were warned yesterday to protect themselves in the sun and avoid getting burnt after figures revealed skin cancer has become the fastest growing form of cancer in Britain.

Cases of the most dangerous form, melanoma, rose 43 percent to 8'939 during the past decade, figures released by Cancer Research UK showed. The cancer is caused mainly by heavy exposure to UV radiation in sunlight, and since the mid-1980s rates have doubled in women and tripled in men. “We're very concerned that cases of malignant melanoma are spiralling,” said Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information. “Most cases of this disease could be prevented if people protected themselves in the sun and took care not to burn.” There has been a rise in similar so-called lifestyle cancers during the same period caused by excessive drinking, smoking and eating, the charity said. The number of newly diagnosed cases of mouth cancer, rose 23 percent between 1995 and 2004, to 4'769 cases.

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