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YORKSHIRE has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, new figures from Cancer Research UK reveal today.

Over the last 20 years the rates of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, have more than doubled in the region.

The latest incidence rates show that around 16 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in Yorkshire annually.

This is compared to just seven per 100,000 in the early 1990s. This equates to around 950 people now developing malignant melanoma in Yorkshire every year, and marks a significant change since the early 1990s when 360 people were diagnosed each year.

Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Yorkshire, said: “We know over-exposure to UV rays from the sun or sun beds is the main cause of skin cancer.

“This means, in many cases, the disease can be prevented, and so it is essential to get into good sun safety habits, whether at home or abroad.”

The results are released as Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN launch their campaign to encourage people to enjoy the sun safely this summer. Their advice is to spend time in the shade if your shadow is shorter than you.

During the UK summer, the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm. Wear a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses when the sun is strong and use at least factor 15 sunscreen.