New campaign warns people who work outdoors of skin cancer

On the occasion of World Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Day on June 13, the “Check Your H” campaign warns people who work outdoors against getting skin cancer.

The capital letter H from the campaign title refers to the H-shaped face area, which covers the sides of the head, ears, nose, and eyes, and the area between the nose and mouth. The campaign runs from June 10 to September 21 with the support of the Cancer Foundation and the network of dermatologists Euromelanoma.

Figures from the Cancer Registry Foundation show that one in five Belgians develop skin cancer before the age of 75. A dermatological study from 2016 established that those who work abroad are three times more likely to develop skin cancer. That’s why the “Check Your H” campaign primarily focuses on people who work outdoors – and therefore sunlight – such as masons, roofers, postal workers, police officers, and farmers. In addition to brochures in hospitals, doctors’ practices and the website www.checkyourh.be Provide information on skin cancer, protection and skin examination. The campaign also targets social media Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

This is a communication campaign that aims to get employers, employees and the general public to consider protecting and screening skin during the summer months. “We notice more skin tumors on the face after summer than at other times of the year,” says dermatologist Thomas Maselis. After all, ultraviolet rays in sunlight damage the cell nucleus and sunlight itself suppresses the skin’s defense system against tumors. So it is important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Maselis says that getting into the shade and wearing protective (or even UV-resistant) clothing — such as a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a dark, appropriate, long-sleeved shirt — is most effective. If that doesn’t work, you can apply sunscreen, but then you have to apply more often, assures the dermatologist.

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spots that look different

In addition, it is important to check your skin regularly for scaly red spots, wounds that do not heal, and irregular pigment spots. When checking for pigment spots, keep in mind the ABCDE rule, which refers to an asymmetric shape (“asymmetry”), an uneven border (“border”), different colors (“color”), and a diameter greater than six millimeters (“diameter”). ”) and a specific growth of the macula (“evolution”). If your pigmentation spot shows such signs, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor. “These are places that look different from the others: ugly ducklings, so to speak,” explains Dr. Masilis. “If in doubt, it is best to consult a dermatologist,” says professor and oncologist Vibeki Cruz. After all, skin cancer is treatable if caught early.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Belgium, according to figures from the Foundation for Cancer Registry: Skin cancer is involved in 40 percent of cancer diagnoses. According to the latest figures, in 2018, there were at least 43,745 cases of skin cancer in Belgium. We’re seeing an increase in the number of skin tumors, but we’re detecting them earlier than before. Dermatologist Masilis says the number of deaths rises less dramatically than the number of skin cancers. This mainly relates to basal cell carcinomas, spinal cell carcinomas and, to a lesser extent, melanomas. About 70 percent of skin tumors are basal cell carcinomas: they are the result of childhood sunburn and, as a rule, do not spread. Spinal cell carcinomas occur in about twenty percent of cases, but they are more aggressive and can spread. These skin tumors occur as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Then the melanomas appear in the pigment spots and are very aggressive.

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The capital letter H from the campaign title refers to the H-shaped face area, which covers the sides of the head, ears, nose, and eyes, and the area between the nose and mouth. The campaign runs from June 10 to September 21 with the support of the Cancer Foundation and the network of dermatologists Euromelanoma. Figures from the Cancer Registry Foundation show that one in five Belgians develop skin cancer before the age of 75. A dermatological study from 2016 found that those who work abroad are three times more likely to develop skin cancer. This is why the “Check Your H” campaign primarily focuses on people who work outdoors – and therefore sunlight – such as construction workers, roofers, postal workers, police officers, and farmers. In addition to brochures in hospitals and doctors’ practices, the website www.checkyourh.be should provide information about skin cancer, protection and skin screening. The campaign also targets social media Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. This is a communication campaign that aims to get employers, employees and the general public to consider protecting and screening skin during the summer months. “We notice more skin tumors on the face after summer than at other times of the year,” says dermatologist Thomas Maselis. After all, ultraviolet rays in sunlight damage the cell nucleus and sunlight itself suppresses the skin’s defense system against tumors. So it is important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Masilis says that getting into the shade and wearing protective (or even UV-resistant) clothing — such as a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a dark, appropriate, long-sleeved shirt — is most effective. If that doesn’t work, you can apply sunscreen, but then you have to apply more often, assures the dermatologist. In addition, it is important to check your skin regularly for scaly red spots, wounds that do not heal, and irregular pigment spots. When checking for pigment spots, keep in mind the ABCDE rule, which refers to an asymmetric shape (“asymmetry”), an uneven border (“border”), different colors (“color”), and a diameter greater than six millimeters (“diameter”). ”) and a specific growth of the macula (“evolution”). If your pigmentation spot shows such signs, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor. “These are places that look different from the others: ugly ducklings, so to speak,” explains Dr. Masilis. “If in doubt, it is best to consult a dermatologist,” says professor and oncologist Vibeki Cruz. After all, skin cancer is treatable if caught early. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Belgium, according to figures from the Foundation for Cancer Registry: Skin cancer is involved in 40 percent of cancer diagnoses. According to the latest figures, in 2018, there were at least 43,745 cases of skin cancer in Belgium. We’re seeing an increase in the number of skin tumors, but we’re detecting them earlier than before. Dermatologist Masilis says the number of deaths rises less dramatically than the number of skin cancers. This mainly relates to basal cell carcinomas, spinal cell carcinomas and, to a lesser extent, melanomas. About 70 percent of skin tumors are basal cell carcinomas: they are the result of childhood sunburn and, as a rule, do not spread. Spinal cell carcinomas occur in about twenty percent of cases, but they are more aggressive and can spread. These skin tumors occur as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Then the melanomas appear in the pigment spots and are very aggressive.

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Megan Vasquez

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