Title: Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Causes More Deaths Worldwide Than Previously Thought
A recent study conducted by European researchers has revealed that non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is responsible for more deaths globally than melanoma, contradicting previous beliefs. The findings, based on data collected from the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, highlight the high incidence of skin cancer in fair-skinned and elderly populations in several countries, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Italy.
In the year 2020, NMSC accounted for a staggering 78% of all skin cancer cases, leading to over 63,700 deaths. This number surpasses the estimated 57,000 fatalities caused by melanoma during the same period. The study also reveals that skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in both the US and the UK, with approximately one in five individuals expected to develop it in their lifetime.
NMSC refers to a group of common skin cancers that gradually form in the upper layers of the skin, while melanoma is a more aggressive form that can spread to other parts of the body. Both types of skin cancer are primarily linked to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds.
One notable aspect of the study is the belief among the researchers that NMSC may be underreported, suggesting that its true impact could be even higher than current estimates. Professor Thierry Passeron, the lead author of the study and a prominent dermatologist at Nice University Hospital in France, emphasizes the urgency of raising awareness about the potential fatality of NMSC, not just melanoma.
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), symptoms of NMSC typically include the appearance of a persistent lump or discolored patch on the skin that slowly progresses over months or even years. Cancerous lumps are often red and firm, while cancerous patches are usually flat and scaly.
With skin cancer cases steadily rising, it is crucial for individuals to prioritize sun safety measures such as wearing protective clothing, regularly applying sunscreen, and avoiding excessive exposure to UV radiation. Public health campaigns should focus on educating the general population about the seriousness of NMSC and the importance of early detection and treatment.
This eye-opening study serves as a wake-up call for the medical community, policymakers, and the public at large to recognize the significant threat posed by non-melanoma skin cancer. By increasing awareness and implementing preventive measures, we can hope to reduce the burden of this often underestimated disease and save countless lives.
“Infuriatingly humble tv expert. Friendly student. Travel fanatic. Bacon fan. Unable to type with boxing gloves on.”