In March 2020, a survey conducted by Sanofi was carried out to investigate public knowledge and understanding of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC). 

NMSC is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 152,000 new cases diagnosed every year; the equivalent of 416 every day. This is more than breast, prostate and lung cancers combined.

More than a third of over 3,600 UK adults surveyed were unaware of the risk factors for NMSC, and of those, only around a third would take more precautions – such as covering up in the sunlight – had they known.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun and tanning beds is the biggest risk factor for NMSC - more than 80% of all skin cancers are considered preventable by reducing exposure to UV rays.  The stark findings in the report also showed that around 7 in 10 adults did not recognise NMSC as a form of cancer. 


To address these challenges, the report outlines five areas to be prioritised by the government and policymakers:

1) improving awareness of skin cancer and sun safety;

2) increasing patient access to disease information and support;

3) improving data on NMSC;

4) preparing for the growing impact of NMSC on the health system, and;

5) increasing patient access to a broader range of healthcare specialists.

With an ageing population and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report concludes that taking action now “will be vital to help reduce the increasing burden on the NHS”.

State Of The Nation Report: Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer 2020