Incidence of melanoma in Catalonia continues to increase in 2020

Incidence of melanoma in Catalonia

This week in November 2020 we have published a scientific article in the journal Journal of Clinical Medicine which shows the trend in the incidence of melanoma in Catalonia over the last 10 years. I wrote this paper together with the dermatologists of the Melanoma Network of Catalonia (Xarxa melanoma) and we observed that the incidence of melanoma continues to increase.

What is the incidence of melanoma and why is it increasing?

The incidence of melanoma is the number of new cases of melanoma that occur during a specific time period, such as a year. It is usually expressed as the number affected per 100,000 people per year. Currently in Catalonia we are seeing an incidence of approximately 14 cases per 100,000 patients/year. What is most worrying is that we see an annual increase of 5% despite all the population-based prevention campaigns we carry out.

Age-adjusted incidence of melanoma in Catalonia.
In the image we can see how the incidence of both invasive and in-situ melanoma increases almost equally in men and women. In panel C we see that this increase in incidence is more marked in people over 60 years of age.

The main risk factor for the development of melanoma and other melanomas is skin cancers is sun exposure and the use of tanning booths. People have been looking for a tan since they Coco Chanel made it fashionable in the 1960s. One possible explanation for the increased incidence is the result of a series of sun exposure habits that were previously absent.

How do we experience the increased incidence in Catalonia in our daily lives?

We experience this reality every day at the Hospital Clínic de BarcelonaWe have a team of 4 specialists in melanoma, where we receive more and more patients with this type of cancer. Currently, our team has 4 specialists in melanoma and worldwide references such as the Dr. Puigthe Dr. Carrera and the Dr. Malvehywith whom we actively participate in research studies in order to improve the care of our patients.

How to prevent skin cancer?

However, if we take certain precautions and perform periodic check-ups, it can be completely curable.

  • Avoid intense sun exposure
  • Do not use lamps or tanning booths
  • Sunscreen 365 days a year (which, by the way, is the best anti-aging cream).
  • The vitamin D is not an excuse for sunbathing
  • Go to the dermatologist for checking your moles
  • Self-examination of moles and consultation in case you notice any changes

In the article "How to detect skin cancer early? you will be able to review some tips on how to perform the examination of your moles and know when you need to visit a dermatologist.

Where can I read the scientific article?

This scientific article published in the journal can be read in the following link link

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Sebastian Podlipnik - Skin cancer

Sebastian Podlipnik

Dermatology Blog

I am a dermatologist and cum laude MD and author of multiple research studies. I specialize in skin cancer, laser technologies and cosmetic dermatology. The intention of this blog is to bring you closer to topics of interest in dermatology and research.

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