“Sun is everywhere around you, not just at the beach!” – campaign against skin cancer!

Wherever you are outdoors, protect yourself against harmful UV radiation

Traditional introductory conference regarding this year's campaign and public health initiative in the fight against skin cancer (melanoma) – “Euromelanoma day Croatia 2016“, was held in hotel Panorama on 21 April 2016 with the slogan “Sun is everywhere around you, not just at the beach“.

This year’s activity was organised in cooperation with Croatian Dermatovenerological Society of the Croatian Medical Association, Referral Centre for Melanoma in Croatia and Croatian Olympic Committee, and target group of this year’s project were athletes. Euromelanoma day 2016 is a campaign focused at primary prevention, i.e. protection against negative influence of UV radiation. Protection from UV radiation is not required only in summer, when we are at the beach, but also during daily activities related to recreation, work in the open or sport. Due to frequent exposure of athletes to UV rays, and with the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, preventive examinations of the skin in dermatologic offices and clinics throughout Croatia are reserved for athletes, Olympians and all other within sports federations. Examinations will be performed during May at several occasions which are adjusted to athletes’ numerous obligations.

Press conference was held by the president of the Croatian Dermatovenerological Society of Croatian Medical Association and the Head of Referral Centre for Melanoma of the Ministry of Health in Croatia, prof. PhD Mirna Šitum, prim. PhD, president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, PhD Zlatko Mateša and the Head of Healthcare at the Croatian Olympic Committee, MPharm Mimi Vurdelja. Professor Šitum pointed to the problem of formation of skin cancer, presenting the worrisome data on the patients suffering from melanoma in Croatia, as well as the worrisome statistic data on the failure to use photoprotective measures in most European countries.

According to the last available data of the Cancer Registry of the Croatian Institute of Public Health for 2013, the highest incidence of melanoma was in the age group of 70-74 years. Total number of newly infected patients with melanoma during 2013 was 527, i.e. 249 women and 278 men. Total incidence of melanoma in 2013 was 12.3%, 13.5% for men and 11.2% for women, (number of newly infected patients on 100.000 citizens). Owing to public preventive actions, largest part of melanoma was localised (48.5% of patients). Metastases to regional lymph nodes are present in 15.2%, and remote metastases in 7.3% of patients. Unfortunately, for 33.6% of patients there are no data.

Large research which was conducted in 17 European countries on more than 13.500 Europeans showed that, although 91% of people knew that inappropriate exposure to UV rays could cause health problems, as many as 40% did not implement protective measures against the sun when they are not on vacation. Only 14% of Europeans protect their skin all year long, 46% of Europeans protect themselves only when it is warm and sunny outside, and 27% exclusively when they are on holiday, and as many as 13% don’t use any measures of protection against the sun. A third of Europeans approach sun protection differently when it comes to children, since 89% “always” or “often” use photoprotective sun creams for children (this refers to children to 12 years of age), and only 62% protect themselves at the same time.

Sun protection measures imply applying creams with high photoprotective action on skin exposed to UV rays, wearing sunglasses which have UV filters, hats or caps and long sleeve clothes and staying in the shade.

The project Euromelanoma day Croatian was this year supported by athletes, our Olympians, world champions in rowing, brothers Martin and Valent Sinković and Damir Martin, athlete-marathon runner Matea Matošević, tennis player Ana Konjuh, skier Filip Zubčić, and young kayakers Jadran Zonjić, Luka and Toni Obadić. Recognisable guests tried to raise awareness of all citizens to the need of proper behaviour in the sun, not just when on the beach, but also during everyday activities, especially during sports training and competitions. They also pointed out to the importance of regular self-check of skin, recognising suspicious changes and, in case of worry, the importance of not postponing a visit to the doctor. Skin cancer is curable if discovered on time, therefore self-check and timely medical examination can prevent uncertain life prognosis.

Euromelanoma day Croatia has been implemented for many years, organised by the Croatian Dermatovenerological Society of the Croatian Medical Association and Referral Centre for Melanoma of the Ministry of Health. Numerous dermatologists participate in it in entire Croatia. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia, and European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology – Euromelanoma organisation. The project is supported by the Croatian Pharmaceutical Society.

Partners which help implement the project Euromelanoma day Croatia 2016 are Almagea, Avene, Daylong, Eucerin, La Roche Posay and ZO Skin Health.

You can find all information about the project on the website of the Euromelanoma organisation: www.euromelanoma.org.

This year’s public health campaign Euromelanoma day emphasizes the need to change behaviour in the method of sun protection. This action aims at reminding the public that the sun does not shine only at the beach and that we need to protect ourselves from the influence of harmful UV rays regardless of where we are and what we are doing.

Considering that Medical Intertrade d.o.o is one of the sponsors of this praiseworthy project again this year, all interested pharmacies which would like to have official posters and educational leaflets of Euromelanoma Day 2016, can contact our sales officers at the following phone numbers:

Medical Intertrade Solin (for Dalmatia area): 021/203 – 900

Medical Intertrade Vukovar (for Slavonia area): 032/445 – 400

Medical Intertrade Sveta Nedelja (all other parts of Croatia): 01/3374 – 010