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Rise in cancers linked to lifestyle

By Christian Duffin

The incidence of skin cancer is rising faster than any other form of cancer – because people are sunbathing too long, a charity report claims.

Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that in 2004 there were 8,939 newly diagnosed cases of melanoma, 43% up on the 1995 figure.

Cancer incidences linked to alcohol, smoking and obesity have also risen over the same period. Womb cancer rose 21% , possibly because more women are overweight, while 14 per cent increases in kidney cancer rates are down to obesity and smoking, the charity said.

Its statistical information manager Lucy Morrish said: ‘While incidence rates for some cancers have fallen over the last decade, others are rising and many of these cases could be prevented if people avoided excessive sun exposure, smoking and obesity and limited their alcohol intake'. She added: ‘Enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn also helps to reduce cancer risk and we encourage people to get to know their bodies and see their doctor if they notice anything unusual – and attend screening when invited.'

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