Only in 2016, the number of people in the Netherlands diagnosed with skin cancer was 15,836, making it the most common type of cancer among its citizens. Compared to the previous year, 1,100 people more were faced with the diagnosis. Healthcare experts from the comprehensive cancer center of the Netherlands IKNL directly connect it to increased exposure to UV rays. When it comes to groups of people that are particularly vulnerable, children are still on top of the list, since serious sunburns at that age can double the change of getting the diagnosis later in life. These statistics are telling us we need to seriously examine our attitude towards sun exposure and change our behavior before it is too late.
Listen To Your Family Doctor
People love sun. It makes us look healthier and, at least in western cultures, more attractive. However, overexposure to sun can create serious problems to our skin that might not be apparent when we are young, but only later in life and that is not attractive at all. Unfortunately disregarding constant warnings from family doctors often occur. The changes in the skin that happen as a result of sun exposure come in various forms – from the mild and harmless such as wrinkles and freckles, to more severe ones – mottled pigmentation, Elastosis (the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles) and, ultimately, tumors and cancer.
Prevention Is Key
For doctors in Amsterdam and colleagues around the world, one of the first signs of skin cancer are unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes, markings, or changes in the way an area of the skin looks or feels. The most important sign of melanoma is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape, or color. Additionally, healthcare professionals in Amsterdam are warning patients that, if a spot looks different from the rest of the spots on the body, you need to be checked and book an online medical appointment.
What’s the Right Patient Care?
What our skin needs, much more than tanning, is thorough and everyday care that does not require a lot of effort or money. For many patients this is challenging. There are several steps that anyone can do in their daily routine in order to protect our skin – use sunscreen correctly (and don’t forget applying it to your neck and arms as well), try adjusting your diet to more nutritive ingredients such as a diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and perform regular checks. As you’ve heard it so many times from your family doctor – prevention is the key!
Still, the best possible cure that no one managed to top is avoiding the sun as much as possible!