As part of the SASCF’s brief to educate and inform the public and medical practitioners alike, the skin cancer foundation presents its 8th Annual Skin Cancer Update Online.
“We have a highly informative, world class program this year with two channels – one for doctors and the other for non-medical practitioners. We will brief and educate regarding the best preventative and diagnostic interventions available in the fight against skin cancer. A world class faculty will be leading this scientific program and it promises to be a seminal event. Education is our key to improving clinical access and patient outcomes,” says Dr Marc Roscher.
The scourge of skin cancer has reached epidemic proportions the world over. Dermatologists are at the front line of detection and dealing with these cancers definitively. Fortunately,decisive interventions have been evolving thanks to the large volume of scientific research that’s happened over recent decades.
“There literally are cures for cancer now. Advanced skin surgery techniques that ensure the cancers are completely excised and the defects are much smaller are now widely available in South Africa for skin cancer suffers. This technique is called Mohs micrographic surgery (frozen controlled cancer section). It is an advanced technology that can be performed outside the traditional hospital complex, thereby avoiding unnecessary COVID-19 risk. In addition, a brand-new category of therapeutic agents called Biologics have evolved which have tremendous efficacy in the suppression and cure of advanced skin cancers,” says Dr Marc Roscher.
“ Whilst sunscreens are essential for protection, inadequate application and inability to protect from the entire UV spectrum are limiting factors in their capacity to shield against cumulative photodamage amongst all skin types. Ongoing research into the use of topical antioxidants, in particular vitamin C, E and selenium , have provided robust evidence for the supportive arm these agents may lend to sunscreens in terms of protecting, repairing and reversing damage incurred from sun exposure” says Dr Lev Naidoo
“The matter of sun protection sticks markedly to the topical issues of the current climate summit and thus affects all races, even those with a dark skin colour. Critical to addressing the impact of the sun to the skin, is deflating the falsehood that a dark skin is more resilient to the impact that the sun has on the skin. The pigment in dark skin is not enough to protect against the sun-related aggravation of hyperpigmentation, causing uneven skin tone and sun-related skin cancer.
Any attempts to treat hyperpigmentation would be futile without the use of sun protection agents, some of which are very greasy and others leaving a white residue when applied, thus having varying reactions to the skin on application. Some individuals might have irritation due to some chemical ingredients and this might aggravate darkening (e.g. phototoxic reaction).
Sun related skin cancer can be prevented by using sun protection, which unfortunately presents challenges to compliance, especially in Black people.
Sunscreens should have broad spectrum protection (UVA & UVB) and should have a high protection factor (SPF 30 or more).
Reapplication is essential after direct sun exposure, sweating or swimming.“ saysDr.Pholile Mpofu.
We invite you to register now to join us on Sunday 16 May 2021 for this truly international Skin Cancer Update.
The Skin Cancer Foundation of South Africa