SKIN CANCER: Finding skin cancer early makes it much more treatable

Skin cancer is very common in England with over 2,300 people dying from it each year.

People aged 50 or over are more at risk, and more than a third of all malignant melanomas (the most serious type of skin cancer) are in people under 55. It is the second most common cancer in the 15-34 age group.

Stats bg
cases are caused by sun
exposure and sunbeds
new cases of melanoma
year in the UK

Stewart is a coach with Albion in the Community. His skin cancer was caught early.

“I always use sun cream when I am working and encourage our players to do the same. My wife noticed a mole on my back that had changed – I think it was just below where I could reach to put the sun cream on. I got it checked thinking it would be nothing. It was a cancer. It was taken off and I have had no more problems since.”

Know the signs
You should see your GP if you have any of these symptoms.

If you don’t have one, the NHS service search will help you find a GP near you.

Get to know your own skin and how it looks normally, so that you notice any unusual or persistent changes.

The most common signs of skin cancer are:

  • A change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin.
  • A spot, sore or mole that itches, hurts or has bled over the last four weeks.
  • A new growth or sore that doesn’t heal within four weeks.
  • A mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs.

Remember, these symptoms may not point to cancer but early diagnosis means it can be more easily and effectively treated.


Most moles are harmless but they can develop into malignant melanoma. Learn the ABCDE of moles to help you keep an eye out for any signs that might be a cause for concern.

Remember, these symptoms may not point to cancer but early diagnosis means it can be more easily and effectively treated.

If you attend your GP with a skin symptom and are referred for a specialist appointment, you can expect to be offered an appointment within two weeks of the referral being received. Make sure you attend.

Find out how to lower
your risk of getting skin cancer

Melanoma and some other skin cancers can actually spread to other parts of the body if they aren’t treated.

Anyone can develop skin cancer. You are more at risk if you have any of the following:

  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Fair skin that burns easily
  • Lots of moles or freckles
  • Red or fair hair
  • Light-coloured eyes
  • A history of sunburn
  • People who take immunosuppressive medication