THE North East has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer, new figures show.
Over the last 20 years, the rates of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, have more than tripled in the region, according to Cancer Research UK.
The latest figures show 15 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the North East every year, compared to just four per 100,000 in the 1990s.
This equates to around 450 people every year, up from 120 people annually in the 1990s.
Malignant melanoma, which starts in the skin can spread to other organs in the body, is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK and more than 2,000 people die from it each year.
Many cases of skin cancer of linked to the effects of ultraviolet light on the skin. The rise is put down partly to a increase in popularity of sunbeds.
The charity also says that better detection methods has also contributed to an increase in the number of people diagnosed.