SABA–Saba Lions Club partnered with Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) to hold a skin cancer lecture event at Sunny Valley Youth Center in The Bottom, Wednesday evening, October 24.
SUSOM faculty and students also called on Saba Lions Foundation, AIDS Support Group Saba Foundationand Strong Women of Saba, who joined them in marking Breast Cancer Awareness month by encouraging all members and friends to wear pink on Friday, October 26.
SUSOM faculty member Dr. Ramona Dumitrescu coordinated the presentation on the causes, treatment and prevention of skin cancer. Medical students
Samer Al-Ameri, Samir Alkabie, Keyvan Amini, Grinder Brar, Harry Chukwu, Manmeet Dhillon, Justine Goldberg, Shery Goril, Mark Ling and Ansley Lorch presented.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer with Saba experiencing increased prevalence aligned with similar developments at a global level and in The
Netherlands in particular. The students tried to explain how to differentiate and monitor benign or malignant, atypical moles based on size, shape, colour
and texture. They outlined the symptoms of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and looked at risk factors, highlighting that while people of light skin pigmentation are at a higher risk, people of all complexions are at risk of developing skin cancer if exposed to severe sunburn during their lifetime, especially
if the sunburn is experienced during childhood and teenage years.
While family history can indicate greater genetic susceptibility or shared environmental risks, a weakened immune system such as in HIV/AIDS patients
was also deemed a contributing factor. The students emphasised moderation in exposure to the sun and outlined surgical- treatment options. In terms of prevention they spoke of limiting to the sun by wearing protective clothing, and lotion/cream-based sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection factor 30 and above.
They pointed out that sunscreen is not effective after more than two hours. Dr. van Duren spoke of the paradox of people using sunscreen being more likely to develop skin cancer, because they do not feel the immediate sunburnand prolong their exposure over the two hours without reapplying. The lecture concluded with an extensive question and answer session, when many of the participants had a chance to ask additional questions about their particular concerns and experiences.
Source: The Daily herald October 29, 2012