Nearly all British people are aware of the risks of skin cancer, but many still put themselves at risk by getting sunburnt.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Cancer Research UK shows that 20 per cent of those surveyed find themselves without protection if the weather is sunny, and 22 per cent want to be tanned. The results also indicate that men are worse at protecting themselves from the sun than women: 75 per cent more men than women are not worried about getting sunburnt.
Caroline Cerny, Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign manager, said: “There’s a big gap between what people know and how they behave in the sun. And this report highlights one of the challenges we face in halting the rise in melanoma rates.
“These results indicate that men seem to be worse than women at protecting their skin in the sun.
“Traditionally it’s been women who want to sport a suntan but this survey suggests men crave this look as well but are forgetting to protect their skin.
“Sunburn is a sign that the DNA in your skin has been damaged and people know that getting sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer but many don’t bother to protect their skin from burning.”
SunSmart is the UK’s national skin cancer prevention campaign, commission by the Department of Health and run by Cancer Research UK.
The campaign provides evidence-based information about skin cancer and sun protection.
Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: “We should all enjoy the sun but we all need to be aware of the dangers of too much sun and the increased risk of developing skin cancer. These findings clearly show the importance of men, and women, protecting their skin from sun damage by using sun cream, covering up and spending time in the shade during the hottest part of the day.”