Melanoma UK is pleased to share the Melanoma Awareness Matters report, published by the pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb.

The number of people developing melanoma is rising and it is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK.  Approximately 16,700 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma each year, although 86% of melanoma cases in the UK are preventable.[i]  As such, it is important for the public to understand melanoma and its symptoms, especially given its ability to spread to other organs if not treated at an early stage.[ii]

This report summarises results from a survey completed by 2,354 adults in the UK on the current awareness and understanding of melanoma and its associated risk factors.  Melanoma UK and Melanoma Focus were invited by Bristol Myers Squibb to share our expertise in shaping the survey.

Melanoma Awareness Matters - Bristol Myers Squibb

The responses show that more is needed to be done to raise awareness of how to spot melanoma before it develops, recognise the common risk factors associated with the condition, and know how the public can protect themselves and others from the sun and other artificial sources of light. 

The survey’s findings show that:

  • 75% of participants claim to have a low-level knowledge of melanoma
  • 60% of participants don’t know that having lots of moles is a common risk factor for melanoma
  • 22% of participants state that they either rarely use sunscreen or do not use sunscreen at all in the UK outdoors in the summer months

Ultimately, the report suggests that awareness of melanoma is not as commonplace as it should be, and that more needs to be done to raise awareness of how to spot melanoma in its early stages.  The report makes a series of recommendations regarding the understanding and awareness of melanoma, as well as attitudes to sun safety and sunbeds, which can help ensure that the general public is protected and aware of the threat of melanoma.

[i] Cancer Research UK. Melanoma skin cancer statistics. 2018. Available at: Last accessed May 2022

[ii] Skin Cancer Foundation. Melanoma overview. 2021. Last accessed May 2022