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New guidelines for the prevention of skin cancer
Skin cancer has risen significantly in Germany in recent years. This is particularly worrying given the simple prevention options. Doctors have now summarized guidelines on how best to avoid skin cancer.
Most common type of tumor in young women Only a few months ago, the 2014 Barmer GEK medical report drew attention to the significant spread of skin cancer in Germany. The health insurance company estimates that between 2005 and 2012 the number of white skin cancers rose by 79 percent and that of black skin cancer by 60 percent. As Der Spiegel now reports, doctors in Germany diagnose skin cancer every year in more than 230,000 people, including 200,000 “white” skin cancers (spinalioma or basalioma) and the remaining “black” skin cancers (malignant melanoma). Skin cancer is the most common type of tumor in young women in Germany, and although cancer can hardly be prevented by prevention.
Prevention recommendations for doctors and the general public In the guide “S 3 - Guideline Prevention of Skin Cancer”, doctors have now summarized the measures that can best be used to reduce the risk of skin cancer. The coordinator of the guideline group, Professor Dr. Eckhard Breitbart said: "We would like to provide doctors and the general population with scientifically founded, practical preventive recommendations." The current report is primarily aimed at doctors, but an information brochure that even laypeople can understand will appear shortly.
Tips to avoid skin cancer UV radiation is one of the main causes of skin cancer. This is a risk that is very easy to avoid. Therefore, the tips given by the experts are not difficult to follow. The guidelines advise against exposure to strong sunlight, such as at lunchtime, wearing suitable clothing, headgear and sunglasses, using sunscreen, adapting sun exposure to skin type and avoiding sunburn. It is also advised to keep outdoor stays short, seek shade, move outdoor activities into the mornings or evenings, and generally get your skin used to the sun slowly. Particular attention should be paid to the protection of children and infants should generally not be exposed to the sun directly. Tanning salons should be avoided and it should also be noted that dietary supplements with vitamin A, selenium or beta-carotene do not protect against sunburn or skin cancer.
Skin cancer risk is also determined by the skin type The individual skin cancer risk is also determined by our skin type. Accordingly, people with skin type I, i.e. white skin, often blue or green eyes, red or blonde hair and a tendency to sunburn, are more than twice as likely to get melanoma than those with skin type IV, such as the "mirror" reported. These form the "Mediterranean type", that is, insensitive to the sun with dark skin and dark eyes. In basalioma, the risk is more than five times, in spinalioma 1.4 times as high. The skin type also determines how long you can normally spend in the sun before there is a risk of sunburn. Under the Mediterranean sun, the skin reddened after five to ten minutes in white-skinned, red-haired people, after ten to 20 minutes in light-blonde people and darker skin types can spend up to half an hour unprotected in the sun.
Free check every two years In Germany, since July 1st, 2008, persons with statutory health insurance have been entitled to an early detection check every two years from the age of 35, which the health insurance companies pay for. Studies have shown that skin cancer can be detected at an earlier stage. However, many insured do not use the information provided. A Forsa survey in 2013 showed that only 38 percent of those insured in Germany had already had a skin cancer screening. This is despite the fact that these studies can help to prolong life significantly, as the chances of survival decrease dramatically as the cancer progresses. After five years, 99 percent of the patients who were diagnosed with melanoma were smaller than 1 millimeter. In addition, a tumor can be removed with surgery if it is still in the top layer of the skin. That is why early diagnosis is so important.
Examination takes only a quarter of an hour. The examination can be carried out by a dermatologist or another medical professional with special training. A bright lamp and a trained eye are enough for the doctor. He only uses a special magnifying glass (dermatoscope) to suspect a suspicious liver spot. The screening usually begins with a preliminary interview and lasts about a quarter of an hour, during which the body is examined meticulously from the top of the head to the spaces between the toes.
Observe the ABCDE rule Dermatologists also recommend that you examine yourself once a month to detect possible skin cancer at an early stage. Liver spots should be examined from head to toe with the help of a partner or a hand mirror. The so-called ABCDE rule helps laypeople to determine whether cancer is hidden behind a birthmark. A like asymmetry stands for an irregular shape of the birthmark. B as a limitation that the birthmark is jagged, uneven and rough at the edges. C for Color means that the birthmark is lighter or darker in some places. D stands for the diameter of a birthmark and indicates that it is suspect if it measures more than five millimeters. E as sublimity means lifting of skin, knot formation, humps or steps. So if you see anything unusual in a private examination according to the ABCDE rule, it is better to see a dermatologist. However, the rule is not a guarantee because skin cancer can also hide behind a nail or in other places such as a dark discoloration on the sole of the foot or a non-healing wound on the heel. (sb)