Cheap Vacation Trips in 1960s May Be Taking a Toll Today

UK cancer group blames spike in skin cancer cases on long-ago boom in holiday excursions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2023 10:15 AM CDT
Updated Jul 15, 2023 7:15 AM CDT
Cheap Vacation Trips in 1960s May Be Taking a Toll Today
Ouch.   (Getty/vchal)

A cancer group in the UK is blaming a spike in skin cancer partly on an unusual factor: the popularity of cheap vacation trips back in the 1960s. Cancer Research UK reports that overall melanoma cases have reached a record-high 17,500 cases a year, reports the Guardian. And the biggest driver in the spike is the prevalence of cancers among those at least 55 years old—cases are up nearly 200% in this age cohort since the 1990s, per Sky News. And that's where those 1960s trips come into play.

"The rise in rates in over-55s is likely to be linked to trends to have tanned skin and the cheap package holiday boom dating from the 1960s, before people became more aware of skin cancer," says the cancer group in a statement. Other factors are at play, including greater awareness of danger signs—often new or changing moles—as well as the UK's growing population in general and its growing population of seniors in particular. In fact, the cancer group projects cases to hit 26,500 per year by 2040. The silver lining: Deaths from skin cancers are declining, in part because of the early detection and treatment, per Scotland's Herald. (More skin cancer stories.)

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