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White skin cancer is increasing rapidly: prevention and adequate skin protection prevent melanoma.
Not only in summer, but also in winter when skiing, people are exposed to the UV rays of the sun. Many think of their brown complexion rather than the harmful rays of the sun. But the German Cancer Research Center warns: The number of skin cancer patients is steadily increasing. Health insured persons aged 35 and over are entitled to a preventive medical check-up every two years.
As the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) announced, the number of patients diagnosed with skin cancer has increased significantly in the past 20 years. People who, despite medical advice, do not protect themselves adequately or not at all from the harmful UV radiation from the sun, risk not only sunburn, but also dangerous skin cancer. According to cancer experts, older people are particularly at risk. According to evaluations of patient data, it is mainly people of the older age group between the ages of 60 and 80 who get sick. However, if you regularly go to a solarium at a young age, for example, you can suffer from skin cancer from the age of thirty. While the much more aggressive black skin cancer often forms dangerous metastases, this happens only rarely in white skin cancer.
Skin cancer is noticeable early on Patients notice white skin cancer especially on the face, hands or neck. The consequences of white skin cancer can be very sustainable and damaging. The DKFZ expert "Genetics of skin carcinogenesis", Petra Boukamp, explained: "The cancer cells grow through the entire tissue and during the operation you have to remove large areas." The carcinomas eat into the skin of the person affected, if the cancer affects the face, the face is often severely disfigured by medical interventions, and scarring is inevitable after an operation, as the expert said.
White skin cancer is caused by permanent damage to the UV rays of the sun. In the early stages, patients notice a red spot or flaky skin. If skin cancer is recognized in good time, various medicines such as ointments can help successfully. Prevention is still the best protection against cancer. Because every sun bath is a danger to the skin and harbors skin damage.
Tanning in the tanning salon damages the skin cells Many people are of the opinion that so-called "pre-tanning" in the solarium prepares the skin for sun rays on vacation. But the rays in the solarium also cause lasting damage to the skin. A single tan in the tanning salon is enough to damage the skin too much. Even if a sunburn on holiday is avoided by visiting the solarium, the skin is exposed to high levels of UV radiation. The longer and more intensely you are exposed to the sun, the greater the risk of developing skin cancer. If the skin changes, those affected should consult a family doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible. A medical examination can then determine why skin cells have changed. Even sunscreen does not protect against skin cancer, as Prof. Eckhard Breitbar of Krebshilfe e.V. recently said.
Early detection is financed by the health insurance companies. If patients observe abnormal changes on the skin at an early stage, this could be a valuable indicator of developing skin cancer. For a good three years now, all health insurers of the statutory health insurance companies have been entitled to an early skin cancer screening test from the age of 35. This check-up can be done every two years. The earlier the skin cancer is recognized, the better the chances of a cure.
Skin cancer on the rise Every year around 240,000 people in Germany contract skin cancer. The research institute did not specify how high the proportion of so-called white skin cancer is. According to the latest evaluations, around 3,000 people die of malignant melanoma each year. If the body's defense mechanisms are healthy, skin carcinoma grows over years. A lot has to happen in time for a tumor to develop, explained Dr. Boukamp. This can sometimes take over 30 to 40 years. That is why older patients between 60 and 70 years of age are often affected. The weaker immune system compared to younger people also plays an important role.
Protection against sunburn and UV rays
Protection against UV rays is particularly important in summer. This includes adequate headgear, sunglasses that do not allow radiation, and air-permeable clothing. All areas of the body that cannot be covered should be regularly applied with a sunscreen with high UV protection. (sb)
Read about skin cancer:
Dangerous black skin cancer
Sunscreen does not protect against skin cancer
Nanoparticles in sun milk