Dr. Ora Bitterman-Deutsch, Head of Galilee Medical Center's Dermatology and Venereology outpatient clinic, advises the public to undergo regular periodic skin checkups since Non Melanoma skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer.



The appearance of skin carcinoma in people exposed to the sun is very common).
In Israel, about 5,000 Basal Cell Carcinomas and 1,000 Squamous Cell Skin Cancer cases are diagnosed each year.
Most often skin carcinoma is found in areas exposed to the sun such as the head, neck, and arms and legs, but, they can also occur elsewhere.  Although they are very common, they are also usually very treatable.

On the other hand, Malignant Melanoma is less common than some other types of skin cancer, but more likely to grow and spread.
If melanoma is diagnosed at an early stage (Melanoma In Situ) the chances of a cure are high as compared to invasive melanoma, which has a five-year survival rate of only 20%.

The risk of developing melanoma during one's life is one in 36 among Jewish men and one out of every 45 Jewish women. Among the Arab population, the prevalence drops to only one case per 1,000 people.

The high risk group for each of these types of tumors includes light-skinned people who were exposed and were burnt from sun irradiation in childhood and/or while working outside without adequate protection, as well as people with many Nevi (over 30) and a history of melanoma in the immediate family.

Despite reports in recent years of progress in the study and treatment of various skin tumors, there are still very high rates of melanoma mortality and many cases of skin cancer which are difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important to take measures to minimize the risk.

 One should examine the skin on a regular basis as well as periodic examinations by a dermatologist or Plastic surgeon, avoiding unlimited exposure to the sun, maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle including a diet rich in antioxidants (such as vegetables, fruits and olive oil with a minimal amount of preservatives and synthetic additives).
By following these guidelines, it's possible to feel more confident about maintaining our overall general health and in particular healthy skin.