eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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2/2020
vol. 6
 
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abstract:
Special paper

Non-melanoma skin cancer as an occupational disease. What is the impact on the society and the welfare system?

Charis Girvalaki
1, 2
,
Antonella Cardone
1
,
Patricia Weinert
3
,
Swen M. John
3, 4

1.
European Cancer Patient Coalition, Brussels, Belgium
2.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
3.
Institute for Interdisciplinary Dermatological Prevention and Rehabilitation University of Osnabrück, Germany
4.
Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine, Health Theory, University of Osnabrück, Germany
J Health Inequal 2020; 6 (2): 153-159
Online publish date: 2020/12/30
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The aim of this special article is to highlight the relevance of NMSC as an occupational disease as well as the regulatory gaps at European and Member State level, while at the same time promoting early screening and raising awareness.

To support that, we conducted an extensive search (PubMed, Google Scholar) of the most recent scientific work related to NMSC and its epidemiology worldwide and in Europe, the causality of the disease, the economic burden of work-related UVR skin cancer, the role of screening and early detection and the regulatory gaps.

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) refers to all the types of cancer of the skin that are not melanoma. In recent decades, the incidence of NMSC has continuously increased and will continue to do so in Europe and worldwide. NMSC is by far the most common cancer diagnosed in light-skinned people. The role of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in carcinogenesis has been investigated by scientists and solar radiation has been classified by WHO/IARC as a Group 1 human carcinogen. Indeed, 90% of NMSC can be attributed to excessive exposure to UVR. Outdoor workers are exposed to an UVR dose of at least 2 to 3 times higher than indoor workers. NMSC has a significant impact in reducing patients’ quality of life as they potentially undergo repeated rounds of surgery or recurrence and, as a result, can suffer significant consequences for their appearance, self-esteem, and well-being. For these reasons, actions and measures are required at European level in order to promote early screening and detection of skin malignancies as well as to increase awareness and protection of outdoor workers.
keywords:

non-melanoma skin cancer, occupational disease, ultraviolet radiation, sun exposure

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