The first skin cancer prevention plan has been launched today at the Department of Health.

It aims to reduce the most common type of cancer here.

Over 11,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year and the number of cases is projected to double by 2045.

Over a thousand people a year are diagnosed with melanoma, a serious type which is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is more common and less aggressive and around 10,000 cases are seen a year.

The plan seeks to target particular groups like children, outdoor workers, those who take part in outdoor leisure activities and sunbed users.

It says that most skin cancers can be prevented.Research conducted for the plan found that often people think a hot sun causes skin cancer but ultraviolet radiation (UV) is the main risk factor responsible for it.

The survey found that almost two thirds of people use sunscreen but almost one in ten take no skin protection measures.

The plan was launched by Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne.