APPROXIMATELY 100 cases of skin cancer are detected in Almeria every year, and experts expect the tendency to grow. According to the multi-centre project ‘Melanoma diagnosis tendencies in Andalucia,’ TEDIMEL-A, skin melanoma cases have risen 87 per cent from the year 2000 to 2009. Almeria’s Torrecardenas hospital has participated in a two phase project that has first identified the cases that have been diagnosed in the past decade, and will now study the benefits of photodynamic treatment therapy in the second phase. This new non-invasive treatment is ideal for people with superficial cancers, and multiple melanomas on the face, back or the scalp which are still in their early phases.
The rise in skin cancers has been noted in many Andalucian hospitals, especially in beachside areas like Almeria. According to the Health and Social Welfare Department of Almeria, 17,000 people were treated for skin problems in 2004, while 25,000 were treated in 2009. Healthcare experts attribute this increase to the lack of protection people wear when going out into the sun along with the progressive deterioration of the ozone layer. For this reason early detection protocols are becoming increasingly efficient, however personal habits and skincare are undermining healthcare professionals’ efforts to offset this aggressive disease. Skin cancer experts have predicted the disease, which already takes 700 lives per year in Spain, will affect more people in the coming years.
Article by Daphne Hilarides