Swimwear to help fight skin cancer?

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New swimwear to help fight skin cancer
Health

An insurance company has teamed up with a cancer association to help spread awareness in battling one of the biggest health threats facing sun-seeking beach tourists, writes David Ing

Generali and the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) have launched what they call the Melanoma Summer Collection – a range of male and female bathing wear featuring patterns that resemble the first signs of the skin cancer for sufferers.

SEOM forecasts that in Spain alone, more than 6,000 cases of melanoma are expected to be diagnosed this year, without counting those among the millions of foreigners who flock to the country’s beaches each year to relax in the sun. A spokesperson for the association said the aim of the joint promotion is to make people ‘aware of the importance of prevention for avoiding this type of tumor, especially in summer when exposure to the sun and the consequent risks to health increase’.

To help achieve this, the association has published an accompanying advice guide that enables people to recognise the signs of melanoma and encourages them to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

The campaign is being further supported by actress Marta Hazas and sporting commentator Jaime Astrain with a video emphasising the need to take precautions to protect the skin; and social media influencers have promised to sustain the campaign by donning the swimwear and continuing the warnings.

SEOM said that the beach wear – which includes two styles available for men and two for women – ‘has a pattern that represents the real form of the melanomas so that bathers can compare their own skin blemishes with these’. The clothing also carries a label featuring the ‘ABCDE of  melanoma – a simple guide rule that  helps improve early detection’.

Dr. Margarita Majem, a SEOM board member who works at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, described melanoma as ‘the most aggressive of the skin cancers’ – one that claimed almost 1,000 lives in Spain alone in 2017. Early detection of the melanoma can increase the survival rate from 10 per cent to 80 per cent, she added.