Moles of attention. Regular body check-ups can help detect melanoma early

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 23. What else will the West freeze to spite Russia 08/06/2022 Plot National projects

Warmed up the sun – and we immediately think about where to sunbathe. After all, you don’t want to walk with white skin in the summer. But why – only because advertising has imposed on us swarthyness as a model of a physically healthy body? Meanwhile, “repaint” skin from ultraviolet in summer from white to dark color is unsafe.

Burns caused by UV radiation can cause melanoma. This malignant tumor develops from melanocytes – cells responsible for the production of the dark pigment melanin, which in 90% of cases are localized on the skin. How to prevent the occurrence of melanoma, and if it does, notice it in time and consult a doctor? Together with the national project “Health” share rules that will help reduce the risk of melanoma and skin cancer.

Do not abuse the sun

“The average Russian will spend a short vacation on the coast or in the garden naked under the sun to get a tan,” – says leading specialist in skin tumors at the National Medical Research Center for Oncology. Blokhin Igor Samoilenko.

“Even a single severe sunburn with redness and blisters doubles the risk of melanoma in this place,” – warns Head of the Department of Surgery and Oncology of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Head of the Department of Tumors of the Skin and Soft Tissues of the Moscow Clinical Research Center. Loginova Konstantin Titov.

Different people, of course, have different susceptibility to ultraviolet rays. A light-skinned or freckled person has a severe burn, and a dark-skinned person only slightly darkens from the same dose of ultraviolet radiation. The skin of children is especially delicate, and it must be carefully protected.

According to oncologists, 9 out of 10 melanomas – this is a consequence of the abuse of sunlight or a solarium by people with fair skin. In this case, melanoma may not occur immediately, but after 20-30 years after sunburn. Therefore, the peak incidence occurs at the age of 50 & ndash; 55 years.

«Sunburn – this is always the factor that causes the appearance of photomutations in the skin, accumulating over time, – explains dermatologist-oncologist of the Tyumen multidisciplinary clinical medical center “Medical City” Roman Myshiakov. – At some point, their number exceeds a critical level and a malignant neoplasm occurs.

The same thing happens in solariums. “All the same, people continue to visit solariums. Their popularity may be declining, but we see among our patients people who have a history of visiting tanning salons, – says Myshiakov.

No tanning

How to protect the skin from burns? There are clothes with a UV filter, but few of us use them. Sunscreens are much more popular. Almost every one of us tested the effectiveness of their protection on ourselves: they really work. The protective layer should be renewed every two hours. But you need to understand: even a cream with a high level of protection does not eliminate the effects of UV rays – it only weakens it. On the other hand, UV absorbents, which are contained in such products to scatter the sun's rays (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide), as well as UV filters, can also cause unwanted reactions. Therefore, the selection of protective agents should be taken seriously, studying their ingredients and not deluded by the low price.

«The best way to protect against melanoma – stop tanning, – considers Titov. 

It is relatively safe to sunbathe, according to doctors, in the morning from 8 to 11 o'clock and in the afternoon – after 16.

Self-examination

“The good news is that early forms of skin melanoma (stage 0 & ndash; 1B) in 90 & ndash; 100% of cases give a complete cure after local surgical excision of the tumor under local anesthesia, – reassures Dr. Titov. – You need to do the operation only at the oncologist. In early forms of melanoma, this is the most sparing and small-scale surgical intervention.

It is important not to miss the time – notice the neoplasm in time and consult a doctor. Unfortunately, approximately 20% of patients with melanoma are diagnosed with stage III-IV of the process during the initial treatment. And despite the fact that skin melanoma – a tumor of external localization, that is, it is clearly visible to the eye.

Therefore, the national project “Health” reminds: you need at least a couple of times a year – at the beginning of the warm season and at the end of it – carefully examine your body in front of a mirror. Well, if there are a lot of moles on it, such examinations should be carried out once every 3 months. At the same time, each mole should be given special attention. If a suspicious (see infographic) – go see a doctor.

This does not mean that a growing mole will necessarily turn out to be a malignant tumor. It can be one of the so-called dysplastic nevi, as well as benign tumors (papillomas, keratomas, hemangiomas, skin fibromas), which do not require radical intervention. 

However, you need to go to the doctor. To get started – to a dermatologist. He will study moles under multiple optical magnification. If he notices signs of melanoma, he will refer you to an oncologist.

If you find such a mole — Seek medical attention immediately. 

For more information on cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, visit the official website of the Russian Ministry of Health on cancer: onco-life.ru.

 

You can should we remove them?

From childhood we were told that moles should not be removed. Is that true? 

A. Draganov, Novosibirsk Region

A mole, according to Dr. Roman Myshyakov, must be removed if it is injured, – thus eliminating the risk of suppuration. If it just seems ugly, you can also get rid of it.

“But before removal, you need to consult a dermatologist oncologist. The second point: the removed mole must be sent for histological examination. And it is desirable that after 2-3 months the patient comes to the doctor and he examines for the presence of pigment residue in the scar, – the doctor said.

If the mole increases in size, it is not worth pulling with the removal. But it is not worth tying moles with threads on your own, smearing with celandine or iodine. There is a risk of getting an ugly scar or not completely removing it. Well, if it is an unrecognized melanoma, it will only delay the time until a diagnosis is made. It is also impossible to “cauterize” moles with a laser or “freeze” liquid nitrogen.

Do I need to stick it with a band-aid?

When I was a child, during a vacation at the seaside, my mother stuck a band-aid on my moles. Should I do this?

A. Ostroverkhova, Ryazan

There was a time when such a procedure was popularized – it was believed that this reduces the effect of ultraviolet radiation on moles.

“In the 1990s, special UV screens were even created in the form of transparent stickers for moles, – explains Dr. Igor Samoylenko. – It turned out it didn't work. The presence of atypical nevi – this is an indicator of increased sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet radiation, and sealing the mole will not prevent new melanoma. This will only create a sense of false security and push for even longer exposure to the sun. A malignant tumor under the influence of the received ultraviolet radiation can occur on another part of the skin – outwardly perfectly healthy».

Help

Fight against oncological diseases – one of the main directions of the national project “Health”. It provides for the re-equipment of oncology dispensaries with modern equipment, the opening of outpatient cancer care centers, and the widespread introduction of modern high-tech methods of treatment in accordance with clinical recommendations. Now patients for whom melanoma would have been a death sentence 8 & ndash; 10 years ago are successfully treated and have every chance for a long life.

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