Skin

13 November 2012

Outdoor workers risk melanoma

Those individuals who work outdoors with resultant sun exposure are at increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.

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Those individuals who work outdoors with resultant sun exposure are at increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Manigé Fartasch shows that the connection between occupational UV exposure and squamous cell carcinoma is now well-established in her review article in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

The results are less clear for basal cell carcinoma, another form of non-melanoma skin cancer. Skin cancers caused by UV light have not yet been considered work-related diseases in accordance with the Ordinance on Occupational Diseases (BKV, Berufkrankheitsverordnung).

 Including these cancers in the accepted list of occupational diseases is currently being discussed. For now, the authors recommend that if a squamous cell carcinoma is suspected of being caused by occupational UV exposure, it should be reported as a quasi-occupational disease under 9, paragraph 2 Social Security Statues (SGB, Sozialgesetzbuch) VII. The authors also call for preventive measures for workers with increased occupational UV exposure.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in Western lands with an incidence of around 10 per 100 000 inhabitants in Europe. Pale individuals with a sun-sensitive skin type are especially likely to be affected.

(EurekAlert, November 2012)

Read more: 

Sun exposure: FAQs

How to do a skin cancer self-exam: video

 

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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch.

She currently runs a dermatology practice in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and her specialities include eczema, childhood skin conditions and acne.

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