Members of the public are being urged not to over-expose themselves to the sun’s rays during the current hot spell, which happens to coincide with a campaign raising awareness of melanoma.
Tests are very important for the early diagnosis of melanoma. Olga Valciņa, the head of the Oncology Patients’ Organization “Step Ahead of Melanoma” told LTV May 10, pointing out that this week a number of free consultations with dermatologists are taking place, with slots almost fully occupied, clearly indicating a shortage of skin specialists, especially in the regions.
“There are very long queues for state-paid dermatologist visits. And there are not enough dermatologists. Only 0.2 mm thinner melanoma at the time of detection means 15% more lives saved in the next 20 years. But this postponement, this failure to go to the doctor because there is no money, because people cannot pay 40 or 50 euros, accordingly people postpone and we detect melanoma much later than it should be,” Valciņa said.
Sondra Zaļupe, the founder of the association ” Step ahead of melanoma “, also urged people not to postpone a visit to the doctor if there is a cause for concern. She too emphasized that timely consultation with a doctor allows diagnosis faster, and with melanoma in particular, early diagnosis leads to many more successful outcomes.
On the association’s website, you can find information about dermatologists recommended by patients, as well as find out how you can examine your own skin, said Sondra Zaļupe.