Part of: Ill Health and Disability, Cancer

Related to: Digestive Cancers - Bowel (Colorectal) Cancer and Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer , Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer,Prostate Cancer, [[Health Checks]], Major Causes of Mortality, Smoking, End of Life Care, Children and Young People

Key Facts

  • There are higher rates of skin cancer than nationally, numbers are very small, although in line with the rest of the country incidences have been rising over time.
  • Only 57% of the primary school pupils that responded to the Child Health-Related Behaviour Survey in B&NES in 2013 said that they did something to avoid sunburn ‘usually’ or ‘whenever possible’.

Definition
Skin cancer melanoma begins in the skin and can spread to other organs in the body. The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. Melanoma happens when some cells in the skin begin to develop abnormally. It is not known exactly why this happens, although it is thought that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from natural or artificial sources may be partly responsible.1

What does the data say? 2

Melanoma is relatively rare, but it is becoming more common. There are currently almost 13,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the UK.

Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people aged 15-34 and is also responsible for most skin cancer deaths. More than 2,000 people die every year in the UK due to melanoma.

There are higher rates of malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in Bath and North East Somerset than nationally. Numbers are though very low (38 cases and 9 deaths in 2011/12), but as with the rest of the country they have been rising over time. 3 This puts the local rate at 21.1 compared to 14.5 England average 4

What does the community say?

The Child Health-Related Behaviour Survey 5 6

The Health-Related Behaviour Survey developed by the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) is designed for young people of primary and secondary school age. The surveys have been developed by health and education professionals, and cover a wide range of topics. Data arising from the survey can be used to help inform planning and policy decisions as well being used in the classroom as the stimulus for discussion with young people. These surveys are carried out every two years.

When considering the results of the Child Health-Related Behaviour Survey in B&NES it is worth bearing in mind the level of participation in the survey, and thus how representative the responses are likely to be of children in B&NES as a whole. For more information see the Child Health-Related Behaviour Survey section in Children and Young People

In 2013 when primary school children in B&NES in year 4 and 6 were asked whether they did anything to avoid sunburn:

  • Only 57% of pupils responded that they do something to avoid sunburn ‘usually’ or ‘whenever possible’, 52% of boys and 62% of girls. These rates are though an improvement on 2011, when it was 48% of boys and 55% of girls.
  • 9% of boys and 5% of girls responded that they ‘never’ do anything to avoid sunburn. These rates have changed very little since 2011.

 

In 2013 when secondary school children in B&NES in year 8 and 10 were asked whether they did anything to avoid sunburn:

  • 57% (54% in 2011) of boys and 65% (61% in 2011) of girls responded that they try something ‘usually’ or ‘whenever possible’.
  • 15% (14% in 2011) of boys and 8% (8% in 2011) of girls responded that they ‘never’ try anything to avoid sunburn.

The Child Health-Related Behaviour Survey also tried to establish whether there were any differences between secondary school children that are likely to be from a more deprived background. To do this it found out the numbers of secondary school year 8 and 10 respondents that were eligible for the pupil premium.

 

The pupil premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

Pupil premium funding is available to both mainstream and non-mainstream schools, such as special schools and pupil referral units. It is paid to schools according to the number of pupils who have been:

  • registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years
  • been in care for 6 months or longer 7

10% (247) of year 8 and 10 respondents in 2013 were eligible for the pupil premium.

A higher proportion of the secondary school pupils eligible the pupil premium (PP) responded that that they ‘never’ try anything to avoid sunburn, 19%, compared to the 11% of children that were not eligible for them.  8

What can we realistically change?

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance