How to protect from skin cancer
Skin cancer is tricky, he initially causes no discomfort. That is why precaution is important. Sun protection and already at the first signs to the doctor is decisive – so that bright and black skin cancer have no chance
What is actually skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a malignant growth of the skin cells. The UV light of the sun is the main cause. It damages the DNA, but the cells do not die, but degenerate and start to proliferate. Each cell can in principle become malignant.
What types are there?
Skin cancer is distinguished into two types: in black and light skin cancer. The black skin cancer is also called melanoma (from the Greek: melanos, too German black) and is formed when the so-called melanocytes, the pigment cells of the skin, degenerate. There are two further subcategories of bright skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma, which often shows small veins on a glossy skin surface, and spinal cord, for which a rough, hair like surface is partly characterized by scaling.
How has skin cancer cases developed in recent years?
Skin cancer is one of the most common tumor types. Currently, approximately 200,000 people are diagnosed with white skin cancer annually in Germany and around 15,000 in black skin cancer. Skin cancer appears to be on the rise: From 1990 to 2004, the number of annual new cases has quadrupled.
Who is particularly at risk?
All people should protect themselves from the harmful effects of sunlight. However, some risk groups must be extra careful and pay particular attention to the sun protection:
If you are particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light (UV), avoid the sun as best as possible.
The same applies to persons with many liver patches: A typical Central European has an average of 20 of the dark times. Although liver patches are not bad per se. But certain types can be precursors for skin cancer. Just who has a lot of nevi, makes it better to check this regularly by a doctor.
In addition, people with a weakened immune system are also endangered. These include, in particular, HIV-infected persons and persons with a transplanted organ.
Which body sites are particularly affected?
The more frequently and longer you exposure to UV radiation, the greater your personal risk. In men, melanomas are often found on their backs and in women’s legs. In the case of light skin cancer, it is particularly those body regions which are exposed to sunlight, such as nose, forehead and ears. Who suffers from hair loss among the men should also protect the head particularly well from the sun. The same applies, of course, to women as well.
Can you get skin cancer without going into the sun?
Yes, because sunlight is not the only explanation for the development of skin cancer. Heredity also plays a role, for example. Just as lung cancer it can affect a lifelong non-smoker; it is possible to develop skin cancer, although you avoid the sun as much as possible.
How harmful are solarium corridors?
For young people under the age of 18, a ban on tanning has been valid for some time. The reason: the UV rays emitted in the solarium can cause cancer as well as natural rays from the sun.
How can skin cancer be recognized?
Black skin cancer develops only in a certain percentage of cases from already existing birthmarks, which change in color and size. The majority, however, is completely new on previously unchanged skin. A good indication of a melanoma is provided by the rule of “ugly emollient”: the spot, which is different from all others, is considered striking. A doctor should investigate this.
The more of these criteria, the more noticeable is the position. Conversely, a birthmark must not necessarily be malignant when all the points are fulfilled.
How fast can skin cancer develop?
Skin cancer can develop within a short time. In principle, persons of all ages can be affected. Black skin cancer often occurs in the middle age (50 to 60 years). In the age of the child, both types of skin cancer almost never occur.
I have skin cancer, what is my prognosis?
As with all forms of cancer, the success of the cure always depends on how early the cancer is recognized. In the case of non-metastatic black skin cancer, the prognosis is very favorable when it is discovered before it reaches a thickness of one millimeter in the skin layer. The area of the affected site is less important. If a doctor removes the black skin cancer at this stage, the chances of a complete cure are very good. However, when the cancer has already formed metastases, for example, in the skin, lymph nodes or bones, the prognosis worsens. In Basaliom, the prospects for healing are even better, since it is very rarely metastases.
Is skin cancer painful?
No. And that is the tricky thing about all varieties of skin cancer. They are usually not painful and are therefore often mistaken as harmless.
Who takes the costs when a liver spot needs to be removed?
From the 35th birthday onwards, statutory cash desks are charged with skin cancer screening every two years. For some patients a detailed examination with a dermatologist is more useful. Talk to your doctor if necessary.
Because melanoma can occur earlier, some cash registers have lower age limits for skin cancer screening. How your health insurance company handles this, you must ask for it individually. If the dermatologist considers a liver spot to be suspicious, the removal from the checkout is usually always paid. Hepatic lesions, which patients wish to have removed for purely cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, are regarded as so-called individual health services. Patients have to pay for themselves.
How can I protect myself from skin cancer?
Beware of the sun. In principle, every human being should be aware that he cannot alter his or her genetic makeup: lighter skin types must be more careful with sunlight than darker ones. Always remember the correct light protection. This includes not only sun creams, but also the appropriate clothing and headgear. You should always avoid the midday sun.
How reliable are sun creams?
Skin cancer can be triggered by both UVA and UVB radiation. Most sun creams now protect against both types of radiation. Immune to radiation damage do not make sun creams, however. It is important to apply the sun cream sufficiently thick. Do not apply clothing immediately after applying the lotion. In addition, you should always adjust the light protection factor to your individual skin type. In addition, the effect lasts only for a certain time.