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Skin cancer awareness campaign launched in Europe

09 July 2013

The number of cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in Europe is about 30 percent higher than expected.
A recent study documented the results of the European initiative for dermatological malignancies, in short: "EPIDERM". The reason is that under the registration of non-melanoma skin cancer in Europe, patients have been recorded only once in the corresponding cancer registries - more skin cancer cases have not been registered. Non-melanoma skin cancer is now the most common cancer of the world's Caucasian population.

A pioneering press campaign to raise awareness about non-melanoma skin cancer will start over the next few weeks in Germany, Italy and Spain. Informative leaflets will be available for all patients in the waiting rooms of the participating dermatologists. The flyer informs the general public about the risks of non-melanoma skin cancer. Up to now only 5% of the population has been educated about the risks of non-melanoma skin cancer.

In the early stages actinic keratosis are not easy to diagnose, due to their typical clinical features. There are a variety of recognized therapies, of which invasive methods are often used for treatments. Because actinic keratosis usually occurs in UV-exposed, visible skin areas, the invasive form of therapy reached its limit due to frequent scarring of the skin. However, treatment options with a local application profile can often be too time consuming for the patients.

"The burden on patients and the health system have been massively underestimated due to insufficient data. Now is the time to provide a uniform European awareness campaign for the early detection of skin cancer and its risk reduction". Prof. Stockfleth further informs that 1000 dermatologists and general practitioners have already participated in training modules on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.

More detailed information on the EPIDERM network can be found here.