MELANOMA is on the march in Spain, according to a top dermatologist.
Half of all 65-year-olds will have suffered skin cancer in some form with 25% developing tumours.
Melanoma, the least common but most aggressive variant is responsible for 90% of skin cancer deaths and in recent years cases have increased.
However according to Susana Puig, head of dermatology at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic, survival rates are improving ‘spectacularly’ – from just two per cent to 50%, thanks to early detection and new research on immunity and genetics.
Another key factor is prevention, since 90% of skin cancers result from sunburn and over-exposure to UV radiation via sunbeds.
While most cancers appear on visible body parts like the neck or head, they can also attack feet and nails, which makes early detection more difficult.
The Dermatoscopy is one non-intrusive technique which uses a lens to detect skin abnormalities.