Golden oldies? Baby boomers' attitudes to suntans must change says testing expert

PUTNEY, U.K. - Aug. 10, 2023 - PRLog -- Cases of skin cancer have soared by 195% amongst over 55s since the 1990s. That means baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) must rethink the view that a tanned body is a healthy body.

While some researchers have pointed the blame at the legacy of cheap package holiday suntans during the 1960s and 70s, a leading testing expert says it's also the case that many over 55s have never stopped believing a tanned body is a healthy body.

Leading testing expert, Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: 'According to Cancer Research UK, melanoma skin cancers in people aged 50-59 have increased by 102%, in 60-69 year-olds by 158% and 70-79 year-olds by 236%. Some of that increase is the consequence of significant exposure to sun during the 1960s and 70s, when everyone turned lobster red on their first day at the beach and carried on tanning for a fortnight. However, it's also down to baby boomers' continuing attitudes to sunbathing today.

'Thanks to greater awareness, skin cancer rates, while soaring for older people, are decreasing for young people below the age of 24. Since the early 1990s this age group has seen a decline in melanoma cases of 18%. But while younger people are getting the message, new research shows less than half of older adults protect their skin from the sun when outside for an hour or more on a sunny day. Furthermore, nearly 18% of older adults don't use any kind of sun protection regularly and more than 1 in 10 older adults have been sunburned in the past year.

'The good news is that protecting your skin today, even if you were regularly soaking up the sun in the 1970s can still make a big difference. Damage from UV exposure is cumulative and increases your skin cancer risk over time. It's not too late to cover up!

'While skin cancers can often be observed, some other cancers that may particularly impact on older people are not so easily detected.

'London Medical Laboratory's Premier health profile blood test ( can detect blood cancers such as leukaemia, which becomes more common in older age groups. It also monitors kidney and liver functions and can identify abnormal biomarker levels which may prompt further investigation. It can be taken at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 95 selected pharmacies and health stores.'

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