Three key battlegrounds identified as research shows melanoma skin cancer reaches epidemic proportions.

The '2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming The Global Epidemic,’ three key battlegrounds for fighting melanoma were identified:

  1. The need to improve public awareness of melanoma risk factors
  2. Reducing intentional tanning
  3. Making skin self-examinations a regular habit


Global cases of melanoma skin cancer will reach nearly half a million (466,914) by 2040, an increase of 62% on 2018 figures.

92% of people recognise that sun exposure can cause health problems, but 61% of people believe having tanned skin is attractive.

Leading Melanoma Patient Organisations have come together to launch a global public awareness campaign in the fight against melanoma. By combining our resources, we hope to reach hundreds of millions of people in over 50 participating countries.

Figures gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that in 2018, there were 17,852 cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the United Kingdom. 

This translated to 2,764 deaths from melanoma skin cancer. WHO predicts that by 2025, the number of cases of melanoma skin cancer will rise by 9% to 19,513 with deaths increasing by 13% to 3,119.

By 2040, nearly 22,886 people will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, a 28% increase on 2018 figures, while 3,968 will die from the disease 44% increase.

Globally, incidence of melanoma skin cancer were found to have reached epidemic proportions.

Cases of melanoma skin cancer are predicted to rise from 287,723 in 2018 to 340,271 in 2025 an increase of 18%.

By 2040, cases will reach nearly half a million (466,914), an increase of 62%. Deaths will rise 20% from 60,712 in 2018 to 72,886 in 2025 and will reach 105,904, a 74% increase, in 2040.

As well as summarising findings from third-party research, the report includes commentary from leading dermatologists. 

Despite a widespread understanding of the link between UV exposure and melanoma, third party research shows that knowledge is not translating into action.

  • 92% of people recognised that sun exposure can cause health problems, but only 18% always protect their skin from the sun.1
  • 61% of people believe having tanned skin is attractive and 49% cannot imagine coming back from holiday without a tan.1
  • More people develop skin cancer from indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.2
  • Only 11% of people have their moles checked by a dermatologist and only 33% have checked their own skin annually,1 despite dermatologists recommending that skin examinations should be carried out every four weeks.

The ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report’ sets out definitive actions needed to change mindsets and behaviours. It’s important that people translate their knowledge into preventative sun-safe action and it’s time to abandon beauty standards that say having a tan is sexy. It can also be deadly.

We want to encourage everyone to check their skin on a monthly basis. What happens every four weeks that could serve as a reminder? Something that everyone could see, wherever they are in the world. The answer, of course, is the full moon, the concept for this campaign.

Melanoma UK is a proud member of the Melanoma Global Coalition Steering Group



1 Skin cancer prevention study by La Roche-Posay and Ipsos

2 Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics: Skin Cancer Foundation

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