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UA researchers report that cases of skin cancer can be prevented by reducing exposure to solar and artificial UV radiation

In Spain, it is advisable to use a sunscreen of SPF30  throughout the year, and SPF50 during the summer

Malignant melanoma ranks as the 7th most prevalent cancer in the general population and 4th in the female population

 

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Alicante. Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Malignant melanoma is ranked 7th among the most prevalent tumours in the general population, and 4th among the tumours that affect women, according to the report 2017 Cancer Facts in Spain of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology. "Other than genetic factors and lifestyles, cases of skin cancer can be avoided by reducing sun exposure due to recreational or work-related activities, as well as to artificial sources of UV radiation," director of the University of Alicante Clinical Nursing Research Group and professor of the Department of Nursing Maria Flores Vizcaya explained.  

With the presentation of the Euromelanoma 2017, the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology warns on the the constantly increasing incidence of skin cancer as it is already considered a worldwide outbreak. That is why Vizcaya, from the University of Alicante, pointed out that "in Spain, it is advisable to use a sunscreen of SPF30  throughout the year, and SPF50 during the summer. We must always bear in mind that the purpose of the sun protection factor is never to increase the time of sun exposure". 

 

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Tips

Other than protecting with sunshades, caps, t-shirts and ISO certified sunglasses, it is advisable to start sunbathing gradually and avoid peak hours, especially during the summer. In the case of children under six months of age, they should always remain in the shade with suitable clothing protecting them from solar radiation. The WHO warns in this regard that solar UV rays are stronger between 10 am and 4 pm.

"Young people and children are particularly vulnerable and the use of a sunscreen between SPF30 and SPF50 is recommended to be applied 30 minutes before exposure, and repeated periodically after bathing or sweating. Also, in order to avoid dehydration, drinking plenty of water is essential," the director of the Clinical Nursing Research Group insisted.

"Despite the flow of information and awareness campaigns, most people do not protect themselves from solar radiation adequately. In fact, protective sunscreen cream should be applied throughout the year in high-exposure areas such as Alicante," Maria Flores Vizcaya stated. "It is important that we remember that the skin" has memory ", that is, that the damage caused by sun exposure is cumulative," he warned. 

False myths

In the case of burn, Vizcaya points out that "the best option is to apply a quick-absorption moisturising lotion and avoid sun exposure until the skin, our main protective barrier, is totally repaired. When second-degree burns appear with evidence of blisters, the first step is to go to a primary care centre and not try to burst them."

Finally, the University of Alicante senior lecturer reminds us that it is not advisable to apply vinegar or yoghurt to reddened skin caused by over exposure to the sun "since acidic substances favours the skin to peel". 

Early Symptoms

One of the first signs of alarm to detect this type of disease is a wound that does not heal or the appearance of new spots on the skin, hence the importance to raise awareness and inform society about self-explorations and clinical exploration by primary-care professionals.

Most melanomas are located on the skin and colours may vary from brown to black, blue, red or grey. "They are easily detectable early as long as any new mole or ulcer or changes in shape and colour of those already existing have been identified," UA Faculty of Health Sciences senior lecturer explained. The ABCD criteria also help to identify a lesion considered a suspected malignancy as it defines the 4 fundamental features of melanoma: A: Asymmetry; B: Border (tend to be uneven); C: Colour (a variety of colours is another warning signal), and D: Diameter (larger than ¼ inch or 6mm)”, she itemised. 

Diagnostic technology

Aware that an early diagnosis is a guarantee of success, researchers from the University of Alicante Research Group of Bioinspiring Engineering and Computer Science for Health (IBIS) have developed a system to help predict melanoma through visual effects using an image of the lesion. The tool has been already patented and can be used automatically to decide how urgently a patient needs to be referred to a dermatologist. 

 

Sistema para la toma de decisiones en el diagnóstico del melanoma

Sistema para la toma de decisiones en el diagnóstico del melanoma

istema para la toma de decisiones en el diagnóstico del melanoma

istema para la toma de decisiones en el diagnóstico del melanoma

VIDEO: System for making decisions in the diagnosis of melanoma

 

 

Photo caption: solar UV rays are stronger between 10 am and 4 pm. Author: Rodolfo Martínez

 

 

 

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