Skin, Skincare 22.09.2021

The month of May is skin cancer month.

Author: Dr. Inja Allemann

Every year, about 15,000 people in Switzerland develop skin cancer, more than 3,000 of them in the greater Zurich area. The number of skin cancer patients has doubled in the last 20 years, and Switzerland leads Europe in the number of skin cancer cases.

Skin cancer is not only the most common type of cancer, but also the easiest to cure if diagnosed and treated early. However, if the skin cancer is already advanced, the prognosis worsens drastically.

So the aim of Skin Cancer Awareness Month is to raise awareness of this disease and its prevention, early detection and treatment.

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How to prevent skin cancer?

Apply sunscreen with an SPF 50 every day. Yes, you read correctly, every day.

How can skin cancer be detected early?

See a dermatologist regularly and have your skin examined. Examine your skin regularly yourself for suspicious lesions.

If something grows that wasn’t there before and looks unusual, it’s better to have it evaluated by a dermatologist. Remember the “ugly duckling” rule when it comes to moles. What does it mean? Every person has their own pattern of moles. Some people have very dark ones, others have large and light ones. However, as a rule of thumb, if one mole looks completely different from the others and sticks out like an “ugly duckling,” that is the one to watch and get checked out.

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In addition, there is the ABCDE rule, which also helps in the early detection of black skin cancer (melanoma).

A for Asymmetry❗️
A benign mole is symmetrical. An asymmetrical mole is a warning sign of melanoma.

B for boundary ❗️
A benign mole has an even and smooth border. Wavy, uneven, notched borders are a warning sign of black skin cancer.

C for color (Colour)❗️
Most benign moles are homogeneous in color. A single light or dark brown shade is okay, but not 7 different shades of gray…Different colors in a mole, such as brown, gray, black, white, and red are warning signs of melanoma.

D for diameter ❗️
Benign moles are smaller than 5mm in diameter. Moles larger than 5mm may be a warning sign of black skin cancer.

E for development ❗️
Benign moles do not change relevantly over time. Moles that change in symmetry, border, color, or diameter are warning signs of melanoma.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

How to prevent skin cancer?

Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 50 every day.

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