Skin cancer is NOT increasing because of exposure to sunlight.

Deconstructing skin cancer bollocks is painfully easy

Here we go again, courtesy of Cancer Research UK: ‘men’s skin cancer doubles in thirty years’.

Why might this be – blokes becoming sun-worshippers? Hole in the ozone layer? Or, um, men living longer?

Underneath all today’s lurid screaming headlines (exactly the same ones we had last year at this time) in tiny type are the words, ‘especially in elderly men’. Which is also a tad economical, because it is almost entirely among older men.

The rate has also doubled among women….who are supposed to be so much better at putting that sunscreen on whereas men don’t bother especially with their backs and oh, aaaaaaaaaaaarg.

Two initial things here. One, put factor 10 or higher on and you’ll almost certainly be fine. And two, the number of men over 65 has risen by almost a quarter in the last thirty years.

And now for the clincher. The skin cancer death-rate has gone up by two people per 100,000. But the number of people aged over 80 had risen by 1.2 million. Doesn’t sound like quite such an epidemic in that context, does it?

This is cynical stuff from CRUK. It’s aperture marketing: there’s a hot summer about to get going, so let’s raise awareness of skin cancer by putting out the same old bollocks we put out every year.

And it really is bollocks – completely needless scaremongering. In the UK, the average person incurs 60% of lifetime medical expenses in the last six months of their mortal existence…..because they’re dying. We are all dying of something, and the longer we all live, the more of us are going to die of genetic breakdown in one form or another. This is what happens to machines lasting 90 years which were only supposed to last 40.

The real problem we face is too many old people as it is. Within a decade, having nowhere to live is going to be a much bigger fear for old folks than skin cancer. Unless you lie in the Nevada desert all day covered in olive oil and lemon, the chances are still 37,000-1 against most people getting sun-related cancer.

The ‘doctors say’ spots in the media are of far greater concern, and highly infectious.

‘Short life means early death say doctors’. Give me strength.

7 thoughts on “Skin cancer is NOT increasing because of exposure to sunlight.

  1. Any message that states a percentage without a starting point is always suspect. In all cases its because they are hiding the inconvinent truth for their own purposes. There should be a law against this! :-)


  2. The practice of covering yourself with chemicals and nano particles ( sunblock) and roasting for hours in the full sun should itself be suspect. A graph showing the incidence of skin cancer and the rise in the sales of tanning and sunblock creams would be interesting. Are the cancer research companies and sun cream manufacturers in cahoots?


  3. ColinGood point – also I've been trying for years to find out if today's 'factor ten' is really just 1972's 'factor three'.There is however much evidence that getting a good blast of sun is very good for wellbeing and an excellent antidepressant.


  4. It was Disraeli, I believe, who is usually credited with the comment "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."Anyway, it is well known that 94.7% of statistics are made up on the spot!


  5. I've seen such a graph somewhere and it was shocking in its correlation between sunscreen sales and skin cancer rates. It is my belief that sunscreen simply gives you a false sense of protection, leading you to stay out in the sun far too long. This was especially true before a few years ago when sunscreen only blocked UVA and not UVB rays (or the other way around, not sure). And now there is evidence that the chemicals in sunscreen can actually cause cancer themselves! I say just use your bodies built in warning system (redness)to tell you when you've had enough!


  6. It’s all good questioning statistics, mindless sun-baking and sunscreen, sure the sun is good for us, yet the UV light can cause damage… at almost 50 I’ve had 3 life threatening skin cancers called Malignant Melanomas, not fun, nor terrible as I was lucky to catch them early and have them cut out… yes lots of doctors, scans, medical students, sharp knives, surgery, knocked out with general anesthetic and days or weeks to recover. My doctors seems to think its a genetic predisposition to skin cancer plus sun burn skin damage at an early age. I lived in Singapore from one and half to 4 years old and my mum didn’t know what sun screen was, so that might be it… it was the 60s. I hate slapping on sunscreen and covering up, and see some peeps going golden brown, but I burn and it can be a killer. The truth is they don’t really know, and if you are that 1 in 37,000 or 1 in 1,000, being that 1 will fill you with a bus-load of regrets, so beware & take care. My dear friend Steve, the original super-nice guy died at the same time as I won battle with round number 2. Don’t be too cavalier and careless, think about the risk, it is your life, and life is good… read more, with photos on my blog
    Play safe in life and play safe and protected when in the sun…
    Choose life, enjoy life, have fun… cheers John


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