Orange December: skin cancer care
The disease is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the cells that make up the skin.
06/12/2022 • 15:00
Reproduction / freepik
The December Orange campaign is organized by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), and promotes awareness of the risks of skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA) the disease accounts for 33% of cancer diagnoses in Brazil, each year there are 185,000 new cases.
The disease is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the cells that make up the skin. These cells are arranged forming layers and, according to which are affected, the different types of cancer are defined.
According to INCA, the most common types are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which cause 177,000 new cases of the disease per year. Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer. And it is the type of disease with the highest mortality rate, but in cases of early diagnosis, the chances of cure go beyond 90%.
According to dermatologist Vivien Esteves, melanin resembles a brownish mole or mole on the skin. “The main cause is high exposure to ultraviolet rays. These rays can lead to the mutation of the DNA of melanocytes”, said the dermatologist.
The sooner diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of cure. “In the initial phase, it should be treated with surgery to remove the lesion. It is a simple and less aggressive treatment. Early diagnosis prevents the patient from having to undergo more aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy”, explains the doctor.
Risk factors are linked to family history; people with light skin and eyes, with red and light hair; people who work exposed to the sun without adequate protection and prolonged and repeated exposure to the sun in childhood and adolescence, is what the specialist exposes.
Skin cancer can resemble moles, eczema or other benign lesions. Thus, knowing one’s own skin and knowing in which regions there are moles is necessary to detect any abnormality. When verifying something strange, you should look for a specialized doctor to perform a clinical examination and biopsy for the correct diagnosis.
The dermatologist explains that special attention should be given to “a raised-looking lesion on the skin, which is reddish, brown, pink or multicolored, with texture, and becomes irregular at the edges, wounds that do not heal and are itchy”.
For prevention, prolonged exposure to the sun between 10 am and 4 pm should be avoided; use adequate sun protection with reapplication throughout the day. When working outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants; wear dark glasses; and look for places with shade”, concludes Vivien.
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