Warning: flaky areas of skin can be a sign of skin cancer

Warning: flaky areas of skin can be a sign of skin cancer

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Scaly patches can be white skin cancer

Skin cancer is mostly associated with black growths on the skin. It is the "black skin cancer". White skin cancer is usually diagnosed later because many patients cannot clearly identify the symptoms or do not know that flaky skin can also indicate cancer. It is therefore important to scan the skin regularly. Also against the background that skin cancer diseases have increased massively in recent years.

Over 200,000 new skin cancer diseases every year

In some regions of Germany, the number of skin cancer cases has risen sharply in recent years. For example in central Saxony, where health experts justified the increase, among other things, by the fact that the so-called "white skin cancer" (spinalioma or basalioma) is now fully included in the data collections. This was not the case previously.

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 of 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.

Sometimes difficult to see

White skin cancer can be a sign of scaly, discolored, or uneven skin. However, there are other symptoms as well. These should be known in order to avoid treatment with radiation or medication later. As the dpa news agency reports, white skin cancer combines basal cell cancer and spiked cell cancer. Basal cell cancer mostly develops in areas of the skin that get a lot of sun, such as the face and neck. The patient information page of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has pointed this out. This shape often looks like a waxy nodule at first. Spiked cell cancer, on the other hand, is often found on the edge of the ear or on the face and is difficult to detect. Warning signals can include a scaly discolored area or a scabby wound.

Sun protection reduces the risk of illness

Since the sun favors white skin cancer, it depends on the skin type when sunbathing. People with lighter skin are more at risk. The risk also increases with age. According to IQWiG, spiked cell cancer is often diagnosed in people over the age of 60. Basal cell cancer often occurs between the ages of 40 and 50. People should protect themselves from the sun from an early age in order to reduce the risk of illness. So don't go into the sun too long and unprotected. Sunburn should always be avoided. Health experts also advise against visits to the tanning salon. Basal cell cancer grows slowly and rarely forms metastases.

According to IQWiG, around one person out of every 1,000 affected dies. Spine cell cancer, on the other hand, is more aggressive: it grows and destroys neighboring tissue and can spread further in the body if left untreated. Around 40 to 50 out of 1,000 people die. White skin cancer can usually be removed in the early stages with a small operation. If this is no longer possible, radiation or medication are also used. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: 5 Warning Signs You May Have Skin Cancer (November 2022).