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More and more people in Germany are diagnosed with light skin cancer
More and more people in Germany are diagnosed with light skin cancer - from 2009 to 2015, cases in this country increased by more than 50 percent. This is shown in the current skin cancer report of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK).
With around 270,000 new cases per year, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Germany. Every seventh disease is dangerous malignant melanoma, black skin cancer. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, black skin cancer increased by over 30 percent and light skin cancer by over 50 percent between 2009 and 2015.
Men are more affected than women
As the health insurance company wrote in a message, the analysis of data from TK insured persons between 2015 and 2017 also shows that significantly more men than women contract light skin cancer. In 2017, 2,151 of 100,000 TK-insured men were affected by the diagnosis, of 100,000 women 1,868 suffered from light skin cancer. The number of people affected by both sexes has increased steadily in recent years, especially among women (by three percent between 2015 and 2017).
In terms of age, light skin cancer mainly affects people aged 65 and over. In 2017, 3,371 out of 100,000 men in the 65- to 69-year-old age group were diagnosed with light skin cancer, almost three times as many with 9,156 in the 75- to 79-year-old men. The number rose to 11,529 among men aged 85 to 89.
Light skin cancer is becoming a common disease
"Light skin cancer is becoming a widespread disease," said Tim Steimle, head of telecommunications drug supply. “It is not as dangerous as malignant melanoma, the so-called black skin cancer. Nevertheless, it is very important that lighter skin cancer is recognized early. It can then be treated all the more gently. In rare cases, a type of light skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, can also form metastases. "
Especially in very sunny weather everyone should think about their skin and protect it well. "Even those who have little sunburn can later develop light skin cancer," explained Steimle. Because the skin does not forget: "Depending on the skin type, we have a larger or smaller sun account - and at some point it is simply full." Whoever goes into the sun without protection often strains the sun account. Therefore, in summer it is important to avoid the extremely strong midday sun and to protect yourself adequately with sunscreen and clothing.
Recognized as an occupational disease
People who work a lot outdoors have a significantly higher risk of developing light skin cancer - their sun account is filled up faster. This applies to farmers, construction workers or lifeguards, for example. “Since the connection has been scientifically proven, light skin cancer has been recognized as an occupational disease since 2015,” says Steimle. The federal government recently published figures showing that the so-called occupational disease "squamous cell carcinoma or multiple actinic keratosis of the skin due to natural UV radiation" was recognized in 2017 as more than 5,300 cases - up from 2,000 in 2015.
Right to skin screening
"If skin cancer is detected early, there is a very high chance of cure for all types," writes the German Cancer Society on its website. However, early detection of skin cancer is not taken seriously enough by many German citizens. In the period between 2015 and 2017, only every fifth TK insured person used early detection. "We advise the insured to exercise the right to free skin screening in order to detect skin cancer at an early stage," said Steimle. From the age of 35 there is a legal entitlement to the benefit.
See a doctor early if suspected
In addition to screening, self-examination is the best method for early detection. Doctors of the German Cancer Society recommend that you take a closer look at your own body in the mirror without clothing - preferably in daylight. You should pay particular attention to existing moles and new skin changes. The partner can help. Areas that are difficult to view, such as the back and the areas between the toes and the soles of the feet, should also be examined. The first signs of light skin cancer are small, light spots on the skin. Anyone who has suspicions should go to a family doctor or dermatologist at an early stage. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.