ENJOY THE SUN
DO NOT LOWER YOUR GUARD
ENJOY THE SUN
LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN
PREVENTION, EARLY DIAGNOSIS AND HEALTHY SUN EXPOSURE KEY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SKIN CANCER
In Spain, 3,600 new melanomas are detected per year, while in the rest of the world cases of skin cancer rise to 160,000
The incidence of these oncological processes has grown by 34% in Spain in the last four years
Experts agree that prevention is the best measure to adopt and advocate ending the so-called ‘suntan culture’
The expert opinion of leading professionals in the field like Dr. Virginia Sánchez, head of the Dermatology Service of the HM Sanchinarro University Hospital, offers some great pointers to enjoying a summer without surprises that can negatively affect our well-deserved vacations.
For Dr. Virginia Sánchez, making an early diagnosis is essential since “skin cancer has a good prognosis if it is caught early.”
Especially important to distinguish between the two existing types of skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma),
Here are some recommendations on healthy sun exposure and the application of photo protection:
“We must reduce sun exposure in childhood, since the skin has memory and this is a key age at which overexposure can increase the chances of melanoma appearing in adulthood.”
“When sunbathing it is important to avoid the central hours of the day”, use a generous amount of sunscreen, replenish every two hours and after bathing.
It is important to be informed about the use of oral photoprotectors and the controversy surrounding them, as well as the need to consult the ultraviolet radiation index or the use of self-diagnosis apps.
Dr. Sánchez advocates self-assessment as a key factor in knowing your skin and knowing when to go to the doctor.
One of the simplest self-assessment techniques is the ‘ABCDE’ melanoma self-check, in which moles and spots on the skin are observed and a specialist consulted as soon as changes in Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolution are detected.
End the “suntan culture”
Amongst one of the many events that HM hospitals organize, Dr Sánchez organized a seminar on skin care. One of the presentations that created the highest impact and generated most interest was that made by the journalist specialized in beauty and social networks Cristina Mitre, who believes that we must abandon the ‘suntan culture’ in which Spanish society has been immersed in since the 60s, “since it was associated with social status and economic capacity.”
The journalist stressed the need for sun protection in the face of any exposure and offered economic data on the sale of solar products. “They represent 19% of the total market sales in their segment, which represents about 340 million euros thanks to the more than 28.5 million units sold in Spain each year.”
What effect does solar radiation have on our body?
Infrared radiation is responsible for heat and activates blood circulation.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is the cause of erythema or sunburn and the genesis of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation is the main producer of skin aging, known as photoaging, although it can also cause cancer.
One cell is enough
Dr. Ainara Soria, from the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, in one of her many national and international presentations highlights the influence of genetics and the immune system on the evolution of this type of cancer. The specialist said that “one cell is enough to cause a tumor”
And that’s why I research into the fundamentals of early diagnosis and the impact that new drugs and immunotherapies have on the fight against melanoma.
Following the opinion of knowledgeable experts in the field, Dr. Juan Francisco Moreno, coordinator of the Skin Cancer Program of HM CIOCC and who is also the organizer of many of the informative seminars on the prevention of skin cancer together with Dr. Jesús García-Donas, head of the Skin Tumors Unit at HM CIOCC, themselves as doctors, highlighted the essential role of patient associations in the fight against the disease and in the process of information and accompaniment of the patients involved.
“They are undoubtedly a key factor for social awareness regarding these tumors, the need for prevention and an early diagnosis. Other countries such as Australia or the United States are ahead of us. Spain, with very high levels of sun exposure, needs more powerful patient associations and programs which can penetrate the general opinion and progressively change elements of our culture and education that are harmful to our health,” said Dr. Juan Francisco Moreno.
Prevention is enjoying a healthy summer with family and friends, but always taking care of ourselves.
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