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Black skin cancer: Celia von Bismarck dies at the age of 39 as a result of cancer melanoma.
With the death of just 39-year-old Celia von Bismarck last weekend, the topic of skin cancer has also moved a little more into the public eye in Germany. Black skin cancer (malignant melanoma) is one of the most dangerous cancers, since the metastases begin to spread at an early stage of the disease and often trigger cancer in other organs.
Political advisor Celia von Bismarck went to the doctor about two months ago with abdominal pain. There she was diagnosed with black skin cancer with metastases in the abdomen. She has now died of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic tumor), which is particularly often fatal. According to the experts, the average survival rates for pancreatic cancer are only 10 to 15 percent. The cause of the various cancer diseases of the young political advisor was black skin cancer, from which the metastases spread into the lymphatic system and into the blood vessels and thus reached the other internal organs.
Typical course of the disease in black skin cancer The course of the disease corresponds to a certain extent to the typical development in black skin cancer. Malignant melanoma, for example, is known to spread metastases in the body at an early stage of the disease. The patients do not die directly from skin cancer, but from cancer of other organs, which is caused by the spread of the metastases. Black skin cancer (malignant melanoma) is by far the most dangerous variant of skin cancer and the most common fatal skin disease worldwide. When the metastases begin to spread, around 90 percent of the patients die within five years.
UV radiation - the main risk factors for skin cancer
Excessive solar radiation is considered to be one of the most important risk factors for black skin cancer, whereby the ultraviolet components (UV) in particular can damage the skin. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), intensive sunbathing outdoors, but especially the use of solariums, should be treated with caution. Like the German Radiation Protection Commission, the WHO rejects cosmetic tanning and advises against general tanning. According to experts from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), red-haired people with fair skin are naturally more at risk. The risk of skin cancer is statistically five times higher than that of black-haired people, so that, according to the recommendation of the DKFZ, they should protect themselves from the sun. Since the individual skin cancer risk increases with each sunburn, people who have suffered a lot of sunburns as children or adolescents are particularly at risk, the warning of the German Cancer Research Center. “After sunburn, the skin recovers superficially. The resulting damage, however, has burned in, so to speak, often with the sentence ´the skin forgets nothing is expressed. The effects of solar radiation only become apparent after years to decades, ”says the DKFZ.
Black skin cancer is increasing worldwide The number of diseases with black skin cancer has increased significantly in recent years. In Germany, the number of new cases is still relatively low with more than 16,000 people, but in Europe we are also protected from the dangerous UV radiation from the sun by the relatively intact ozone layer. The situation is different in Australia and New Zealand, for example, where the ozone layer is too thin to intercept UV radiation before it reaches Earth. In Australia, for example, the proportion of black skin cancer patients in the total population is 13 times the global average. According to WHO statistics, the highest disease risk worldwide is reached in Auckland (New Zealand).
Early diagnosis particularly important Even though around 200 skin cancer patients worldwide are currently being treated with the new active ingredient PLX 4032 and the first results of the clinical tests indicate that the preparation will extend the life of the patient and in a few cases even cure the disease is not yet a really effective drug against malignant melanoma on the market. Therefore, the earliest possible diagnosis is all the more important. Eye-catching pigment spots should definitely be closely monitored and a dermatologist should be consulted if changes occur. The so-called ABCDE rule can serve as a guide for assessing whether it is normal pigment spots or dangerous black skin cancer. A stands for asymmetry (mark is not round or oval), B for boundary (blurred, irregular border), C for color (skin mark is multi-colored), D for diameter (larger than five millimeters) and E for sublimity / development (skin mark is new and slightly raised on an otherwise flat surface). Anyone who discovers pigment spots with the above-mentioned characteristics should in any case immediately consult a dermatologist. Because with black skin cancer, doctors have little time to react to prevent the spread of metastases. (fp)