Check your skin regularly for strange spots

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About 1 in 5 Dutch people develop skin cancer. People are getting older, travel more and spend more time (unprotected) in the sun. The sun and tanning beds are the main causes of skin cancer and that is why it is important that more attention is paid to skin cancer and how you can protect yourself.

dr. Bas Wind and Dr Annelinde Terlou, both dermatologists at Jan van Goyen, specialize in oncology, surgery and laser dermatology. They can't emphasize it enough: protect yourself from the sun and keep an eye on skin changes. When you recognize skin cancer in time, it is usually relatively easy to treat. It is therefore of great importance to have moles or other spots on the skin checked by your doctor or dermatologist if in doubt. The sooner you get there, the better!

Epidemic of skin tumors

Skin cancer is unfortunately becoming more common. Dr Bas Wind explains: “Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in particular, dermatologists see an increase in the group of baby boomers. Forty years ago, people were less aware of the harmful effects of UV radiation. It is often years between damage to the skin and the development of a tumor. This explains why we are seeing a huge increase in skin cancer right now.”

Prevention is better than cure

Proper lubrication is and remains extremely important in the prevention of skin damage. Wind explains: “Apply sunscreen, not just once but keep repeating it, preferably every 2 hours when you are outside. Find the shade between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and do not use the sunbed. Nowadays there is also UV-resistant clothing. Very handy if you know about yourself that you sometimes forget to apply it.”

Check the skin

“Check your skin regularly for strange spots. Better safe than sorry. Skin cancer has different forms and there is no single phenomenon by which you can recognize it. However, you should keep an eye out for flaky, shiny spots, new or changeable moles. Make a habit of checking the skin. Also check the places you can't easily see: the back is an important place to keep an eye on. Do this with a full-length mirror or ask your partner, friends or roommates.”

To treat

When you spot a suspicious spot, it is wise to act quickly. Terlou explains: “With a reference
from the general practitioner you can go to the dermatologist. You can often go to Jan van Goyen quickly. When
If a spot turns out to be malicious, we will remove it. After the malicious spot is removed,
you often stay under the supervision of the dermatologist to keep a close eye on the skin.”

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