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10 June 2010

Skin cancer rate in Denmark highest in Europe

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New survey reveals huge increase in skin cancer cases since the 1970s, especially among young women

An extensive new survey carried out by the Danish Cancer Society has uncovered thousands of new skin cancer cases, pushing Denmark to the top of the league table for this potentially-deadly disease.

The new figures reveal that the greatest increase in cases – close to 5 percent per annum - was amongst young women between the ages of 20 and 40, while the corresponding figure for men is 3.5 percent.

According to official figures, approximately 7,700 people are diagnosed with the illness each year. But the Danish Cancer Society has revealed that this is a gross underestimation. The society discovered that in 2007 alone there were at least 11,000 cases of skin cancer– four times the number of cases recorded nationally in 1978.
The revised statistics mean that Denmark is now the country in Europe that registers the highest number of new cases per capita of ordinary skin cancer each year.

Fatima Birch-Johansen, a researcher at the Danish Cancer Society, says the primary reason for the massive increase is too much sun and the overuse of solariums. Skin cancer is usually diagnosed in the head and throat area and often requires surgical treatment that can be extremely distressing for the person affected, she said.

(The Copenhagen Post)

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