Symptoms, treatment, and prevention of skin cancer
Skin cancer rates are growing, potentially as a result of global warming. Here’s how to recognize a melanoma and remain sun safe.
Skin cancer is the most frequent kind of cancer, depending on where you reside. Melanoma of the skin is very frequent in northern and southern Europe, North America, and Australia. Non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma skin cancer are the two most common kinds of skin cancer, and both are on the rise. The World Health Organization’s Global Cancer Observatory anticipates a rise in skin cancer worldwide between 2020 and 2040.
Is global warming increasing the incidence of skin cancer?
It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of increased skin cancer rates, but experts believe rising global temperatures are at least partially to blame.
An editorial in the Lancet science journal in October 2021 said that “ultraviolet radiation due to climate change is considered to be connected with the growing prevalence of skin cancer and melanoma.”
Elsevier and the Women’s Dermatological Society conducted a report of evidence in 2020 that found “strong circumstantial evidence [that] backs up the theory that climate change factors have likely contributed to the increased occurrence of coetaneous malignancy worldwide and will continue to impose a negative impact on skin cancer incidence for many decades to come.”
Demographics and skin color are important considerations.
People with pale complexion, blue eyes, and red or light hair are more likely to get skin cancer. Individuals of color, or “naturally dark or Black people,” as the WHO puts it, “may typically safely withstand quite high amounts of sun exposure without getting sunburned or significantly raising their skin cancer risk.”
Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest incidences of skin cancer. This is sometimes attributed to the fact that both nations have sizable white populations with European heritage. Because the majority of the early settlers had pale complexion, they were unused to the scorching heat.
Skin malignancies are still uncommon in Africa and Asia. However, according to statistics from the Global Cancer Observatory, African nations might witness a 96% rise in new cases by 2040 compared to 2022. In the same time frame, Asia might witness a 59% increase, while Latin America and the Caribbean could see a 67% increase.
Cancer Research UK emphasizes the eight kinds of melanoma listed below, beginning with the most common:
The most prevalent kind of melanoma is superficial spreading melanoma. It affects men and women between the ages of 30 and 50. It is commonly found in the middle area of the body in men and on the legs in women.
The second most frequent kind of melanoma is nodular melanoma, which can occur anywhere on the body.
Lentigo maligna melanoma is present on the face and other sun-exposed regions of the body; it is frequent in those who spend a lot of time outside.