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Tuesday 24.10.2017 | Name days: Renāte, Modrīte, Mudrīte
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Free skin test uncovers skin cancer for several Latvian residents

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The situation with skin cancer in Latvia requires attention, because three melanomas have been found among 3,000 people within eight hours. This shows a serious situation in the country,» BNN was told by chairman of Dermatologists Against Skin Cancer association Raimonds Karls.

On 26 May, the association invited residents to come to free skin health test in Riga. During this event, participants were able to test skin formations, undergo a full skin inspection and get a consultation from specialists.

According to information from organizers of the event, around 3,000 Latvian residents participated in this event. «We found malignant tumours: three melanomas and dozens of basal cells. This points that free tests are needed and are effective,» says Karls.

When asked how specialists determine which tumours are malignant or benign, the doctor says it is determined through long-term observation. «When it is unclear – if it us or isn’t – special inspections are used.»

Karls told BNN that free skin tests in Latvia are performed for the tenth consecutive year. However, to convince a larger number of people to participate, dermatologists decided to go out to the streets and ask people directly. In previous years residents were asked to undergo skin tests in clinics. «Recommendations have been provided to people for whom melanomas have been found, because there are melanomas treating which will require turning to Latvian Oncology Centre. We have also found skin formations that can be treated without specialized equipment or medicine.»

The latest data of European leading researchers in oncology shows that the situation has worsened in all of Europe in the past several years. While the average age of skin cancer patients some twenty years ago was 75-79. The current age has since declined from 45 to 49. This means the generation of people for whom skin cancer is found the most often has gotten 30 years younger.

Karls had previously said that «the situation in Latvia has been catastrophic for many years. The number of skin cancer patients is on the first place among all malignant tumours. In 2015, skin cancer was diagnosed for 1,326 patients,» Karls comments.

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