Melanoma is a cancer that can appear at any time of life but with age the possibility of a delayed diagnosis increases and therefore a more serious prognosis . This is one of the main conclusions of the study led by José Luis López Estebaranz, Chief of Dermatology at University Hospital Alcorcón Foundation in Madrid. This research has been conducted with more than 700 patients with melanoma , among which 266 were older than 65 years.
- 27% of patients suffering from skin cancer as one second basal cell carcinoma
“Often the lentigo maligna melanoma , a type that commonly occurs in the head and neck, unlike others that are found regularly in the trunk and extremities , ” said the study, presented at the last annual meeting of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology (AEDV). This type of cancer has a slow growth, but in the elderly is detected so late that already show symptoms such as ulceration and bleeding.
In addition, people who have participated in this study had other health problems , “65 percent have high blood pressure, and stroke or ischemic heart disease in 15 percent of cases , ” says Estebaranz. Almost half -47 percent of patients suffered another neoplasia melanoma- corresponding with basal cell carcinoma , squamous or a second melanoma in 27 cases.
Therefore Estebaranz stresses the need to strengthen prevention campaigns with messages aimed at the elderly population . In his view, it is essential to raise awareness around the photoresist, self – exploration and “not to confuse age spots with injuries” . In this vein, José Carlos Moreno, a dermatologist and former president of the AEDV, remember that the campaign Euromelanoma is aimed at all ages because prevention and, in particular, sun protection is needed from early childhood throughout lifelong. However, sometimes the biggest latecomers to the photoresist, as well as known skin has memory and accumulates the damage of previous excesses. Hence the campaign will also be aimed at early detection through self – examination. “