Skin cancer is ranked among the top 10 cancers in South Africa

Skin cancer is ranked among the top ten cancers in South Africa and contributes significantly to morbidity in the country.

The Skin Cancer Foundation of South Africa hosted a successful Skin Cancer Update on the 5th August 2015 in Sandton, Gauteng. The event is planned to take place on an annual basis, this being the inaugural event.

With approximately 40 delegates and several exhibitors, the programme covered lectures on clinical and scientific talks, new products as well as non-governmental organisations’ programme overviews.

Skin cancer screening, both surgical and non-surgical treatment and palliative care were discussed by leading experts and medical doctors. Dr Levy gave an overview of mole mapping and the benefits of having advanced equipment in the consulting room.

High risk groups, such as individuals with xeroderma pigmentosum and albinism, represented by the respective South African societies, were profiled as individuals requiring special attention and care.

Prevention of skin cancer, including the use of sun protection such as clothing, hats, shade and sunscreen, were described both in terms of the scientific evidence and new products from the trade.

The incidence of skin cancer among people of colour, such as Black South Africans, was explained by Drs Mpofu and Kgokolo. Among individuals with dark skin, skin cancer can be more difficult to treat because treatment is sought late. Advice to seek medical care for suspicious skin ailments was encouraged.

Given its significant contribution to the burden of disease in South Africa, the need for public awareness, school sun protection programmes and screening for skin cancer is of utmost importance. The Skin Cancer Foundation of South Africa will once again be holding its annual, nationwide free Screening day on the 1 September and members of the public are encouraged to make use of this opportunity.

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