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Skin cancer is the commonest form of cancer affecting people in the U.K. and indeed, throughout the world. The commonest varieties, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are known as non-melanoma skin cancers whilst the third commonest type is malignant melanoma.
People with paler skins present a higher risk of developing skin cancer as they are more vulnerable to damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to sunlight is often a major factor in the development of skin cancer, and the number of cases in the U.K. is on the rise, despite highly publicised warnings against excessive tanning.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are generally slow to develop or spread, while melanoma can be much more aggressive and therefore poses a greater threat. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on any moles on the skin, as the signs of malignant melanoma will usually manifest themselves as changes in the appearance of moles.
Protecting your skin is, of course, always the best course of action, but if your skin has already been damaged by the sun and presents some changes that you find worrying, make sure you seek professional advice. If you are looking for a private skin cancer clinic, London's Harley Street Dermatology Clinic can offer you a consultation and if necessary, treatment. Our clinical director has undertaken and published research on the subject, and it remains one of his specialist areas.