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More and more patients with skin cancer in German clinics
More and more people in Germany have to go to hospital for skin cancer. According to health experts, many tumors could be avoided - and often detected earlier.
More and more skin cancers
The number of skin cancer cases has increased significantly in recent years. Nationwide, according to the German Cancer Society, up to 200,000 people develop new skin cancer each year. The German Cancer Aid assumes a higher number, from 234,000 new cases, whereby over 20,000 diagnoses concern the dangerous "black" skin cancer. But white skin cancer can also be dangerous if left untreated. The fact that more people develop this type of cancer is also shown by the number of patients who therefore need to be treated in a hospital.
Men had to be treated more often in the clinic than women
As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the number of skin cancer treatments in hospitals increased by 17.1% between 2010 and 2015.
According to the experts, a total of 100,400 patients with this disease were hospitalized in 2015. Hospital treatment was more often necessary in men (57%) than in women (43%).
Just under a quarter (23.1%) had to go to inpatient treatment for a malignant melanoma, the so-called "black" skin cancer.
A good three quarters (76.9%) were treated for so-called "light" skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and spiked cell carcinoma).
Skin cancer in the sexes in different places
“Black” skin cancer occurred mainly on the trunk of the body in men (4,600 cases) and in women mainly on the lower extremities and the hips (3,700 cases).
"Light" skin cancer affects both women and men particularly in regions of the body that are more exposed to sunlight, such as specific parts of the face, scalp, neck and ears.
Surgical interventions for skin cancer patients primarily included extensive removal of the diseased skin and tumor tissue (74,200 measures), transplants in the form of a flap replacement on the skin and subcutaneous tissue (56,300 measures) and temporary soft tissue coverage (29,100 measures).
On average, the hospital stay of the skin cancer patients lasted 4.7 days.
Children, adolescents and young adults are very rarely treated for skin cancer in the hospital. A good three quarters of the patients were 65 years and older.
Diseases can often be avoided
"This type of cancer is very easy to avoid: with proper UV protection and avoiding solariums," says the German Cancer Aid on its website.
Because the main cause of skin cancer is considered to be too much UV light and hereditary predisposition.
People should protect themselves from the sun from an early age in order to reduce the risk of illness.
When it comes to sun protection, it depends on the skin type. The lighter the skin, the more protection is required. In addition, one should be guided by the UV index, which can be called up online daily. Sunburn should always be avoided.
From the age of 35 for a medical check-up
There are different types of skin cancer that need to be treated differently, but one applies to all types of cancer:
"The earlier they are recognized, the greater the chances of a cure and the gentler the treatment can possibly be," writes the German Cancer Society.
From the age of 35, the costs of skin cancer screening are covered by the health insurance companies every two years as a statutory standard benefit. Some health insurance companies also subsidize the provision for younger insured persons. (ad)