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Dr Amaya Gascó discusses skin cancer prevention on RAC1 local radio


Dr Amaya Gascó speaks about risk factors for skin cancer and methods of prevention and early detection.
Barcelona, 24 May 2011- with the aim of promoting awareness of the dangers of skin cancer in the run up to the summer, Dr Amaya Gascó appeared on RAC 1’s “Tot es posible” program today, speaking to Elisenda Camps.
Dr Gascó began by explaining the distinction between malignant melanoma - the most dangerous type of skin cancer since it can pass to the lymphatic system and the rest of the body - and non-melanomas, warning that, while non-melanoma is curable in almost all cases with surgery, both types of skin cancer are dangerous and precautions should be taken to avoid them. Dr Gascó went on to explain how the principal cause of skin cancer, ultraviolet light, damages the skin’s cells causing them to mutate and grow in an uncontrolled fashion.
Dr Gascó outlined the different ratings for skin ‘phototypes’, black skin being rated the highest at 6. She cautioned that even though black skin affords the highest level of protection from the sun, all skin types should wear protection and that no-one is immune from the risk of developing skin cancer. She explained that just one case of sunburn from overexposure to the sun can be enough to trigger the development of skin cancer, especially if this occurs in childhood. She described some of the best ways to protect children from sunburn, such as avoiding the hours when the sun’s rays are strongest, limiting their exposure, wearing the highest factor sun cream and even covering them up with a t-shirt. She then went on to demystify sun cream factors with an explanation of how to choose the right factor for your skin type, noting that whilst sun cream in itself does not prevent cancer, it does protect against burning, thereby reducing risk.
The program concluded with a discussion of the modern-day, non-invasive techniques used by doctors to detect skin cancer and the importance of self-examination and early detection: the ‘ABCD’ of awareness and how to watch for the changes (in shape, color and size of freckles) that could indicate the onset of skin cancer.
Dr Amaya Gascó specializes in digestive tumors and thoracic tumors at the Oncology Institute Dr. Rosell, USP Dexeus University Institute and has served as principal investigator and co-investigator in several related clinical trials. She has also been actively involved in research activities resulting in papers presented at national and international medical oncology conferences. Dr Gascó is currently a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), Spanish Society of Clinical Oncology (Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica – SEOM) and the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (Grupo Español de Cáncer de Pulmón - GECP).
Full interview: Tema del dia: Càncer de pell amb l’USP Dexeus (Catalan only)