About skin cancer
Each year more and more people globally are diagnosed with skin cancer. That means you should keep a close eye on your skin (and the skin of people around you). With early detection, the chance of survival is almost 100%, but a melanoma spreads relatively quickly and survival with metastatic melanoma is very limited. Due to several therapy options, this situation improved dramatically over the last years.
Regular (self) check of the skin is important, but there is still a lot of ignorance about melanoma and especially among young people. They underestimate the dangers of unprotected sunbathing and the use tanning beds. They also often do not realize that the skin damage they now incur increases their chances of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer in later life. Make sure you do a regular skin check with a dermatologist or your general practitioner.
What is melanoma?
The most dangerous form of skin cancer, these cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. These tumors originate in the pigment-producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
A few facts about skin cancer
- More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure.
- Each hour, 1 person dies from skin cancer.
- Skin cancer accounts for more than 50% of all cancers combined.
- Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men and women.
- One bad burn in childhood doubles the risk factor for melanoma later in life.
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.