Euromelanoma launches campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer risk factors

  • Euromelanoma launches ‘Skin Cancer: Your Past Decides Your Future’ campaign
  • Campaign follows global dermatologists survey that shows 33% of professional skin checks and 21% of early-stage melanomas missed during COVID pandemic

12 May, 2021 – Europe’s leading skin cancer awareness group, Euromelanoma, has launched a campaign to change the public’s awareness of skin cancer risk factors. The ‘Skin Cancer: Your Past Decides Your Future’ campaign encourages people to consider their lifestyle, occupation and history – and encourages regular skin self-exams.

“We want people everywhere to understand the different factors that make up their own personal skin cancer risk profile. It’s not just sun worshipers or tanning bed users that develop skin cancers – there are other behavioural and familial factors to be aware of,” said Veronique del Marmol, European Chair of Euromelanoma.

The campaign highlights the main factors dermatologists believe contribute to an increased risk of developing skin cancer:

  • Use of sunbeds –   Frequent sunbathing
  • Outdoor occupations –   A history of melanomas in the family
  • Outdoor leisure activities (e.g. sports/gardening)

Euromelanoma’s 2021 campaign follows a recent survey of over 700 dermatologists around the world that revealed the shocking impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the detection of melanoma skin cancer. Compared to a normal year of performing patient skin examinations, dermatologists estimate that one fifth (21%) of melanomas may have gone undiagnosed and one third (33.6%) of appointments missed due to the pandemic.

When these figures are considered alongside the World Health Organization’s most recent melanoma incidence rates, the survey suggests that over 60,000 melanomas have gone undiagnosed worldwide.

“The lockdowns that have been necessary during the Covid crisis, coupled with the additional strain on healthcare systems, have led to a worrying proportion of professional skin checks being missed. So, with this trend set to continue until we all emerge from the pandemic, it has never been more important for people to understand their risk profile and to check their own skin for melanoma,”.

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Euromelanoma is Europe’s leading skin cancer awareness group. It is run by a network of European dermatologists who give up their time to promote and share information on skin cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. It focuses on public awareness of skin cancer, including an annual ‘Euromelanoma Screening Day’; sharing knowledge and best practice with the healthcare community; and working with policymakers to ensure the treatment of skin cancer is fully recognised and supported in healthcare systems and policies.

Euromelanoma is a registered charity and is active in 33 countries.


About the survey

The short survey was conducted in November and December 2020, receiving a total of 734 responses from professional dermatologists across 36 countries. Dermatologists were asked to estimate the proportion of skin check appointments missed due to the pandemic, and estimate the proportion of undiagnosed melanomas compared to a normal year.