Significant increase in skin cancer due to unhealthy leisure behavior
Skin cancer is a widely underestimated risk when sunbathing outdoors and visiting solariums. In a recent interview with the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung", the managing director of the German Cancer Aid, Gerd Nettekoven, reported on the dramatic increase in skin cancer in Germany. "The number of skin cancer cases has quadrupled in the past few decades" and "Skin cancer has become the most common type of cancer in Germany," said Nettekoven.
"The potentially carcinogenic ultraviolet radiation from the sun and solariums - in combination with the leisure behavior of the population" are, according to the managing director of the German Cancer Aid, the biggest risk factors for skin cancer. Since the 1970s. Sun breaks and regular solarium use are a normal part of the life of many people in Germany. According to the expert, this often has fatal consequences for the skin. "This year alone, around 234,000 people in Germany will be diagnosed with skin cancer," warned Gerd Nettekoven in an interview with the newspaper.
Alarming increase in skin cancer
According to the managing director of the German Cancer Aid, the increase in skin cancer in Germany is "alarming", but "the danger of UV rays is still very much underestimated with us." Far too often you see "on the beach, in the swimming pool, on the soccer field or children and adults with sunburn at the sports festival. ”This is particularly fatal for children and adolescents because“ sunburns increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma two to three times later. ”Malignant melanoma (black skin cancer) are usually significantly more dangerous than the so-called white skin cancer, which accounts for a large part of the diseases. Nettekoven speaks of 206,000 expected diseases of white skin cancer and 28,000 of the particularly malignant black skin cancer in 2013. The malignant melanomas are so dangerous because they form metastases very quickly and are then difficult to cure. According to the expert, around 3,000 people die each year in Germany from the consequences of a melanoma disease.
Solariums with radiation intensity like at the equator
According to Nettekoven, the leisure time behavior of the population plays a major role in the increasing number of skin cancers. Pronounced sun baths on the lake, sun holidays and solariums form an unfavorable combination of risk factors. With regard to the use of solariums, Nettekoven explained that currently about 4.8 million Germans still use solariums regularly and that "although the radiation intensity of the devices is comparable to that at noon at the equator". The German Cancer Aid therefore generally advises against solarium visits. If adolescents do not comply with the ban on tanning beds that has been in force since 2009, this is “simply dramatic” because “the risk of developing black skin cancer is doubled if tanning beds up to the age of 35 are used regularly. “Improved education is urgently needed here, so that especially young people become aware of this easily avoidable cancer risk factor.
Women in particular are increasingly suffering from malignant skin cancer
According to the expert, the comparatively high number of young women suffering from malignant melanoma in recent years is particularly worrying. They are “now the most common type of tumor in young women”, with experts “making frequent visits to the solarium responsible for this trend,” said Nettekoven.
Sun protection when staying outdoors
In addition to avoiding visits to solariums, sun protection plays an important role in skin cancer prevention. The motto "avoid - dress - creams" propagated by the Federal Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD) applies here. Accordingly, direct sunlight should be avoided, especially in the midday hours. When staying in the sun, the body should be protected by clothing such as a sun hat or light, long trousers and long-sleeved shirts and the uncovered areas are thoroughly covered with a sunscreen that has an adequate sun protection factor (at least 25 for adults and 30 for children) to apply cream.
Skin cancer screening
Since the chances of treatment increase significantly in the event of early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, Gerd Nettekoven also recommends so-called skin cancer screenings, which are available to the insured persons every two years from the age of 35 as a "standardized examination of the entire skin surface". In this way, there is a good chance that even malignant malignant melanomas will still be recognized in a stage that can be treated. (fp)
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