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Swiss skin cancer rates highest in Europe - study

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10:34 CEST+02:00
The Swiss are 40 times more likely than people elsewhere in Europe to develop the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to new research.  

New figures published by the Swiss Federal Health Office show that Switzerland has higher rates of skin cancer than other European countries and comes after Australia and New Zealand globally.

According to the latest health bulletin, 22 new cases of melanoma, the most dangerous form of malignant skin cancer, are diagnosed every year for every 100,000 people – a rate that is 40 times higher than other European countries.

Over the last 20 years, cases of malignant melanoma in Switzerland have doubled, the study says. Melanoma occurs in 30 percent of cases in people before they reach 50 years of age and remains one of the most prevalent cancers in young adults.

The main cause cited by the study is excessive UV radiation, including artificial irradiation, with the Swiss spending more time in direct sunlight during holidays and using tanning sun beds more often. According to the research, one in two Swiss women and one in four men have used them at least once in the past.

Almost a tenth of the Swiss population, especially young people, use tanning beds regularly, and are not aware of the health risk, the study says.

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