For women, the most common place for melonoma to develop is on the legs. For men, melanoma is most commonly found on the chest and back – however it is important to note that they can develop anywhere on our body including our eyes, scalp, feet and mouth. Melonomas are more uncommon in areas which are protected from from sun exposure – however, can still be more commonly found under the fingernails or toenails, palms or soles of those who are dark-skinned.
Melanoma is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with over 16,000 Brits diagnosed each year, and is also the most deadly of all skin cancers with over 2300 passing away each year. 86% of these cases are preventable, making good practice in protection all the more important.
While the risk of melanoma increases with age, the number of cases in younger people is disproportionately high and indeed, melanoma is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in those aged between 15 and 34. It takes only one sunburn as a child to more than double a person’s chance of developing melanoma, making it all the more important to have an awareness of how to protect yourself from UV rays.