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Skin Cancer Rates Increase in Finland as UV Radiation Rises

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Melanoma diagnoses are increasing at a rate of around five percent per year, according to the Cancer Society of Finland.

In 2021, some 981 men and 798 women were diagnosed with melanoma. The Cancer Society estimates that Covid disruption to healthcare caused delays in diagnosis, and that backlog has still not been cleared.

“There were as many melanoma diagnoses in 2021 as there were before Covid,” said Karri Seppä of the Cancer Society. “Even so, there are missing diagnoses because there were so few in 2020.”

Long-term climate forecasts suggest that summers will be warmer in the future, with an associated increase in UV radiation.

Exposure to UV radiation increases an individual’s risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer. It is advisable to protect exposed areas of the skin when UV radiation is at a high level.

“In southern Finland the UV index rises above the protection boundary on sunny days from mid-April until September,” said Kaisa Lakkala of the Meteorological Institute in a press release.

“In northern Finland the threshold is crossed from May, on average, until early August.”

Experts suggest the risk is highest from just before Midsummer until the end of July, and recommend checking the UV index along with the weather forecast.

Source: YLE

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