Increased exposure to sunlight influences high incidence of skin cancer

According to a specialist, people are now more exposed to the sun, less clothing, sun-less, and getting sunnier

More exposure to sunlight influences skin cancer to kill one person every 52 minutes in the world, said dermatologist Rodrigo Roldán Marín, head of the Oncodermatology Clinic at the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) ).

The specialist explained that we are all susceptible to suffer from this disease. “We must stop believing that it is an exclusive subject of blue-eyed blond individuals. It affects black and dark people, and yet little is known about it, “he said in a statement.

According to Marin, every year more cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung, and colon are recorded together, and this is influenced by a cultural change.

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“Today we have unusual practices in past centuries that expose us to one of the most important environmental carcinogens: sunlight,” he said.

The expert said that today people are exposed more to the sun, with less clothing, without sunscreen and increasingly earlier.

In Mexico, he said, new cases of skin cancer are detected each year; however, there is a lack of prevention culture and this is because the disease is minimized.

“The sun causes progressive and accumulated damage and the rays received today will have repercussions two, three or four decades later, so we should promote protection habits among children and teach them how to use sunscreen.”

Marin explained that it is necessary to take into account that basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer among humans, one in five will develop it, “and if we add that the skin is our largest organ, it is inexplicable not to take care enough”.

The expert said that much research still needs to be done about it because although the characteristics of skin cancer in white people are well known, it is necessary to sink in what happens to other characteristics.

“For example, Australia is the country with the highest incidence of melanoma because it is in the geographic region most exposed to the sun; so an Australian can generate between three and four melanomas in his life and survive, “he said.

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However, Marin detailed that if a Mexican develops a melanoma, he is very likely to die due to this.

“This has to do with genetics, and although we’re not sure why, it appears that darker, though more protected, skin develops cancer in more aggressive variants when it contracts.”

The specialist said that general practitioners should be instructed to use the dermatoscope, a pocket-sized microscope, in order to detect this disease in a timely fashion.

“This would not only significantly increase the diagnostic accuracy of skin cancer variants (such as melanoma, basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas), but it would improve our reference and counter-reference system by detecting tumors in preterm infants,” he concluded.

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