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CHECK Berlin/Brandenburg #6

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Skin Cancer Foto: Nathan

Skin Cancer Foto: Nathan Dumalo / Unsplash ENGLISH 6 MISCONCEPTIONS THAT CAN LEAD TO SKIN CANCER Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in humans. In Germany alone, more than 276,000 people are diagnosed with it every year. There are many rumors circulating about the connection between UV rays and skin cancer, especially in the summer months. So what are the risks of sunbathing and how can we best protect ourselves? 1. I USE SUNBEDS AND AM THEREFORE PROTECTED FROM SUNBURN This is unfortunately not the case. The artificial tan is extremely short-lived due to the special radiation spectrum used there. After just a few days you will be paler again. At the same time, you expose yourself to extreme radiation exposure in the sunbed, comparable to that at lunchtime at the equator, which even increases the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, if possible, completely refrain from visiting sunbeds in tanning salons. 2. I WAS SUNBURNED AND AM THEREFORE PROTECTED The opposite is in fact the case. Unprotected skin is immediately and deeply damaged by UV rays. The body can compensate for this to a certain extent. However, there is a risk that damaged cells will remain in the skin, which increases the risk of skin cancer, even if the tumors sometimes only develop decades later. So when you're in the sun, wear long, airy clothing to protect your skin. 84 CHECK BERLIN/BRANDENBURG #6

Skin Cancer 3. IF I PUT ON SUNSCREEN, I CAN SUNBATHE FOR HOURS Unfortunately, that's not true either. If you choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or more, a large part of the UV radiation will be "swallowed". Nevertheless, you increase your risk of skin cancer because rays penetrate the skin and cause damage to the cells there. The protection is also reduced by improper use: because too little is used, skin areas are forgotten, or the protective film gets damaged by sweating and movement. Sunscreen should therefore only be seen as a supplement: clothing that covers the shoulders and neck and headgear are more important. Caution: Re-applying sunscreen does not extend the UV protection. Although it helps to maintain the UV protection, it does not ensure that the duration of protection is renewed. 4. THERE ARE CLOUDS IN THE SKY SO I DON'T NEED SUN PROTECTION That is only half true. Clouds influence the level of UV radiation, but very differently. While dark thunderclouds greatly weaken the rays, there are other types of clouds that even intensify the effect of the sun. In general, clouds reduce the intensity of UV radiation by a maximum of 10 to 50%. Therefore, you should take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of skin cancer even on cloudy days, especially at lunchtime. Note: The UV index of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection offers up-to-date forecasts for the various regions in Germany. 5. I'M TANNED, SO MY SKIN IS PROTECTED FROM UV RADIATION Unfortunately, that is also a myth. The tan is rather a stress reaction of the skin. This is how the body tries to protect itself from cancercausing rays. When these hit the skin, melanin is produced, a color pigment that surrounds the cell nuclei in order to protect the genetic material it contains. The tan, which is often perceived as attractive and healthy, thus indicates a high level of UV exposure. The sun protection factor of tanned skin is around four. Therefore, even if you are already tanned, you should continue to use sunscreen and sunprotection measures. 6. I'M STILL YOUNG, SO I WON'T GET ANY SKIN CANCER Skin cancer doesn't happen overnight. Most people are therefore already over 70 when they receive their skin cancer diagnosis. But: younger people are increasingly suffering from the dangerous "black skin cancer". In women between 20 and 29 years of age, the most common form of cancer are tumours, also known as malignant melanoma. The risk of developing skin cancer is higher for women than for men up to the age of 55, then the ratio is reversed. (ts,mb) Source: Deutsche Foto: Anna Tarazevich / Unsplash CHECK BERLIN/BRANDENBURG #6 85

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