New report: Melanoma on the rise-The increasing need for investment in specialist nurses

This report launched in October 2022 builds on the 2021 National Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse Census supported by Melanoma Focus and BASCSN (British Association of Skin Cancer Specialist Nurses), with additional insights from a skin cancer nurse focus group and a patient survey.  The invaluable role of skin cancer nurse specialists, and current challenges within the profession is highlighted.

The Skin Cancer CNSs themselves are under enormous pressure and many are suffering from overwork and exhaustion. This is due not only to rising cases but also significant advances in treatment.

Treatments for advanced melanoma have been revolutionised over the past decade (prior to this, there were no effective treatments for advanced melanoma). More patients are surviving and living  alongside their advanced melanoma and, while this is fantastic news, the country needs the workforce to support these patients.

A Skin Cancer CNS quoted in the report said:

“I used to have a busy clinic with around 35 patients (half melanoma stage 3 upwards). Now my clinics have 50 patients, plus 10 to 30 telephone calls to make. It has tripled in three years. There’s no way I can support those patients as well as I was able to.”

 Our CEO, Susanna Daniels said:

“Melanoma is one of the UK’s most rapidly-increasing type of cancer, with around 16,202 new cases every year. Quite simply, the current situation is unsustainable. At Melanoma Focus we will campaign on this issue until every UK melanoma patient has access to the vital support of a skin cancer nurse specialist.”

Read the full report here.

Read the full census here.

News coverage:

Nursing Times: ‘Growing gap’ between skin cancer nurse shortfall and increased demand

Daily Express: Skin cancer: The easily missed signs of one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK

Business Fast: Skin cancer: The easily missed signs of one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK