Laser Medizin Zentrum Rhein Ruhr
Laser Medizin Zentrum Rhein Ruhr

Skin cancer

Rising numbers of skin cancer

With 140 000 new cases per year ,skin cancers are the most common cancers in Germany. The number of new cases of white skin cancer has doubled decade by decade since the 60s. According to the Robert Koch Institute in Germany ,around 2,000 deaths a year are being recorded due to a malignant melanoma (the so-called "black skin cancer"). These figures reveal the urgency of education and early detection of skin cancer (skin cancer screening).

 

What causes skin cancer

The main reason for the development of skin cancer is the sunlight, or more precisely: the dose of UV radiation that a person has received during his life.

 

What types of skin cancer are there?

A distinction is being made between the white skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous) and the so-called malignant melanoma (black skin cancer). In addition, there are preliminary stage cancers, such as the actinic keratosis or the Bowen's disease. These preliminary stage cancers can be treated very effectively with the photodynamic therapy (PDT).

 

The so-called "white skin cancer": basal cell carcinoma, squamous

The Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a tumor of the integument (epithelium) of the skin. This kind of cancer is usually being caused by an intense solar radiation. The so-called "sun terraces" nose, face, forehead, temple and ear are affected in most cases. The basalioma damages the surrounding tissue and –if untreated- can even destroy the bone tissue. However, it forms metastases in very rare cases. In Germany, 100 per 100,000 are diagnosed annually with a basal cell carcinoma. A basal cell carcinoma usually occurs only in later life - beyond the 60 . But dermatologists observe that increasingly also younger people are diagnosed. Changing behavior in the leisure and holiday time is being made responsible for this.

 

Spinalioma (squamous cell carcinoma)- similar to the basal cell carcinoma- primarily develops on hardly sun- damaged skin and with already existing preliminary cancer stages. After the basal cell carcinoma, this type of cancer is the second most common skin cancer. In Central Europe, each year about 25 to 30 new cases occur per 100,000 population. The average age is 65 to 70 years, men are affected more often than women.

 

The "Black skin cancer": Malignant Melanoma

The malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive tumor of the pigment cells. This form of cancer is the most common fatal skin disease worldwide with sharply rising number of new cases. In Central Europe, about 12 to 18 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants are recorded annually. In Australia and the Southern United States, the rate of new cases is 30 to 45 per 100,000 per year.

 

How is skin cancer being treated?

As soon as your dermatologist finds a form of skin cancer or precancerous skin, he will immediately initiate an appropriate therapy. In case of preliminary cancer stages, the photodynamic therapy (PDT) may be appropriate. Other forms of cancer have to be surgically removed and histologically examined; if necessary a further therapy may be prescribed. As a consolation: early detected, skin cancer is completely curable in almost 100% of cases. Therefore: go for regular medical skin checks and do not hesitate to consult a doctor if you are concerned about a mole!

 

What can I do? - Protect yourself! Already children have to be protected from too much sun! Skin cancer prevention begins in childhood. Children should be exposed to soon very little, the midday sun should be avoided if possible. The application of sun cream with a high SPF is a must. This should be complemented by a hat, shirt and pants. And even children should wear sunglasses.

 

No more sunburn!

The Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD) in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), has developed the "UV Check" - a free information service around sun protection. At any time and for almost any place in Europe you can determine here via the internet or SMS your own skin type´s maximum self-protection time. More information and registration is available under: www.uv-check.de

 

What you can do for your skin?

• Protect children as much as possible from the sun (hat, t-shirt, sunscreen with a high sun protection factor)

• Walk in the shade and avoid direct sun radiation when it´s strongest (between 12 and 16 o´clock)

•Protect your skin and your eyes (hat, T-shirt, shirt, sunglasses)

• Accustom your skin gradually to the sun

• Avoid sunburn!

• Creams yourself with sun cream every 2 hours (high sun protection factor)

• Do not use the tanning bed

• If your skin is reddened after a stay in the sun, it means that you have a sunburn. It is considered especially bad if the skin hurts or even blisters after even two days have past.

 

• Who is at risk?

Skin cancer is most common in people who are over 50 years old or who are permanently or strongly exposed to the sunlight. You are particularly at risk, ...

• if you have a very light skin or get a sunburn quickly.

• If you have had sunburns in childhood and adolescence.

• If you spend much time in the sun during your spare time or while working.

• if you repeatedly expose yourself to strong sun radiation such as during the holidays.

• If you use the tanning bed.

• If you have more than 50 pigmented moles on the body.

• If you had skin cancer cases in the family.

• If you are above 50 years of age • After a organ transplantation

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Laser Medizin Zentrum

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