Print version ISSN 0120-8705
RESTREPO VELEZ, JUAN CARLOS et al. Detection and prevention of skin cancer in persons older than 18 years: Medellín, May 2005. Universidad CES. CES Med. [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.1, pp. 93-101. ISSN 0120-8705.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in humans. It's responsible for half of all the malignant neoplasm in the United States of America and by the year 2008 more than a million cases will be diagnosed. The true incidence of these tumors is unknown in Colombia due to the subregistry of patients with the condition and that data from other countries does not apply to our own, due to the geographical difference, with greater ultaviolet light exposure in this region, which is the mayor risk factor for this type of tumors. Of skin cancer, the non melanoma, which includes the squamous cell carcinoma and the basal cell carcinoma constitute 80 % of all tumors. Malignant melanoma is less frecuent and imposes high risk of death if not detected in an early stage. This was the reason for doing a campaign for the prevention and detection of skin cancer searching for the types of skin tumors and other related sun lesions detected in our city. Also education was given to patients about the dangers of the sun and the importance of early consultation. To accomplish this task, people greater than 18 years of age, with rough lesions, cutaneous ulcers that had not healed, or pigmented lesions that changed color o size, where invited through the media to a free consult with dermatologist and dermatology residents form CES University. In the 736 volunteers that participated in the campaign there where 58 basal cell carcinoma, 10 squamous cell carcinoma, 6 melanomas, 101 premalignant lesions (Actinic Keratosis and atypical nevus), and 145 lesions related to sun exposure. Incidence of skin cancer in Colombia is not known, the solar radiation is a very important factor in the skin neoplasms pathogenesis and our population, living in the tropics, receives sun all the year. Although studies of screening for skin cancer don't help to study prevalence and incidence of cancer, they give an idea of how frequent are the morbidities related to solar radiation and put on alert about the importance of early detection and prevention of premalignant conditions and malignant skin.
Keywords : Screening; Skin neoplasm; Colombia; Social Security.