EVERY year 750 people in Majorca are diagnosed as having a carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, giving the island one of the highest rates in the world. At the same time, 30 people each year are diagnosed of having the more deadly melanoma.
That's why at the start of the summer and with Majorcans looking forward to getting on to the beaches, the President of Balearics against Cancer, Teresa Martorell, has urged people to use adequate protection against the harmful rays of the sun. Martorell said that one in every 100 children would develop a malignant melanoma as an adult, 30 percent of which would appear in adults younger that 40. There are currently about 3 to 4 cases a year per 100'000 inhabitants of Majorca. Every year, five men and four womem on the island dies from this type of cancer. This figure, however, is relatively low compared with Australia (30 cases per 100'000 inhabitants) or Norway (15 cases per 100'000 inhabitants).
This type of cancer tends to present itself in people, such as tourists, that expose themselves to short but very intense periods in the sun.
The cases of carcinomas and melanomas are growing, according to Martorell, who said that, 27.3 percent of the young people in the Balearics did not use any form of sun protection, when 68 percent of this sector of population went to the beach or the pool two or three times a week.
The following are the guidelines recommended for staying safe in the sun:
1. Avoid the sun between 12pm and 4pm.
2. Use a suitably high factor sun protection lotion for your type of skin.
3. Apply lotion half an hour before going into the sun and reapply every two hours.
4. Wear sun glasses, hat and lip protection.
5. Use protection even on cloudy days.
6. Children, the elderly and pregnant women should take special care.