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Skin Cancer Survival Rates on the Rise

Update Date: Jul 22, 2013 01:05 PM EDT

Regardless of the time of year, slathering on sunscreen is extremely important. Not only does sunscreen protect people from developing skin cancer, it can also shield people from premature aging. Due to the recent changes made on sunscreen bottles with the goal of protecting people's skin from exposure to harmful sun radiation, skin cancer has been on the radar. According to a new report conducted by Cancer Research UK, survival rates for malignant melanoma is on the rise.

Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. According to the report, the survival rate for this type of cancer was just 50 percent back in the early 1970s. Based on the new statistics, the rate of survival is now 80 percent. The researchers' findings suggest that treatments and screenings have significantly improved over the decades. However, there is still room for improvement.

"Forty years ago, only around half of those diagnosed with skin cancer were surviving, so eight out of 10 is a massive improvement. More and more people are beating skin cancer but we can't stop there and we need to develop better treatments for the two out of 10 where things don't look so good," commented Professor Richard Marais, the director of the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, which is based at the University of Manchester.

The researchers also reported that for men specifically, the survival rates went up from 38 percent 40 years ago to 80 percent. The survival rates for women diagnosed with malignant melanoma jumped from 58 percent to 90 percent within four decades. According to Cancer Research UK, there were 12,818 people diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer in 2010 with 2,203 deaths in the UK alone. The current statistics provide an optimistic look for the fight against skin cancer.

"Obviously we've come a long way in the fight against skin cancer and that's largely down to the generosity of supporters who have funded research to help us to understand the disease better and find new ways of beating it. Research funded by Cancer Research UK has underpinned the development of new drugs like vemurafenib. Although these drugs do not cure skin cancers, they can give patients with advanced melanoma valuable extra months and show the progress we are making," Marais added reported by Medical Xpress.

The statistics can be found on the Cancer Research UK Website

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