Each time the 1% decrease in the ozone layer increases the passage of ultraviolet rays, with the consequent increase in the number of people affected by skin cancer. These data are proven, according to Dr. Francisco Camacho, head of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology of the Virgen de la Macarena University Hospital in Seville, on the occasion of the XIII World Congress of Skin Cancer, held in Madrid. Although there are many other factors that influence annually increase the cases of this type of cancer in the world up to 5% (between three and eight percent depending on the country).

In our country, 50,000 new cases are detected each year, of which 4,600 are melanomas (the most aggressive form of skin cancer). These data, as clarified during the Congress, can be extrapolated to the rest of the world, except Australia, a country in which the incidence of skin cancer has decreased among the youngest, due to prevention programs that have been running for decades. demonstrates that prevention is the best weapon against this pathology.

Dr. Perry Robin, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, recommends going to the dermatologist annually after the age of 50, or if any anomaly is detected when performing a self-control of the entire body surface. It is important to insist that an early diagnosis drastically reduces the severity of the condition that, in most of these cases, can be treated by surgery. The basic rules of conduct, in addition, consist of avoiding sun exposure from 11 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, and use appropriate glasses and sunscreens with factor 30 or higher, which must be applied at least 30 minutes before sunbathing .

People with skin, hair and light eyes, and many moles, are at higher risk of developing this disease, but it is also changing the profile of those affected, since melanoma has increased among the younger population, regardless of their physical characteristics, because being dark is considered a canon of beauty in today's society.

Tanning booths to debate

Because excessive exposure to UV rays is one of the main triggers of skin cancer, Dr. Camacho warns of the convenience of banning tanning booths and lamps, because it has been shown that its use increases the chances of developing melanoma, especially if you start using them before age 35.

This is because the skin has memory and ultraviolet radiation accumulates throughout life, so the reaction of the skin depends on the number of times it has been attacked.

In Spain the use of tanning booths is prohibited for those under 18 years of age. The WHO (World Health Organization) has raised the sanitary classification of UVA rays emitted by artificial tanning machines, probably carcinogenic, to group 1 of "carcinogenic to humans", and a study carried out last year by the Center International Cancer Research Center (CIRC), an agency under the WHO, published in The Lancet Oncology, found that exposure to artificial UVA before 30 years of age, increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75%.

Dr. Robin agrees with the prohibition of its use on minors. In this regard, Dr. Pablo Lázaro, head of the Dermatology Department of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, believes that although these cabins were not harmful, they serve to inculcate people that tanning is a sign of beauty, a misconception which, in his opinion, it is necessary to change.

Dr. Oz Explains Skin Cancer (November 2019).