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Melanoma prevention in Eastern Europe

Forsea, A.M.

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doi: 10.1097/01.cmr.0000382783.36559.95
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Since prevention and early detection remain the key effective methods in stopping melanoma, both attention and resources are increasingly directed towards melanoma prevention world-wide. The sustained efforts of the past decades led to the encouraging results of leveling off the incidence and mortality of melanoma in some of the countries and regions most affected by this tumor and sun safety and skin cancer education are now on the agenda of public health programs across the continents.

However, melanoma prevention remains a challenge in many regions. In Eastern Europe countries, which emerged from the isolation of the communist era 20 years ago, the political, social and economic struggles prevented skin cancer education and prophylaxis from becoming a public health priority. Insufficient structural reform of health and education systems, chronic insufficient funding, lack of interdisciplinary cooperation and low public awareness and activism are some of the problems that these countries share and that block preventive efforts.

In the same time, progress has recently been made. Romania and many neighboring countries participated over the last years in the European initiative of Euromelanoma Day early detection and awareness campaign; NGOs are becoming visible in mounting public educations campaigns against skin cancer. EU funding for education programs are increasingly available for skin cancer prevention and legislative initiatives are being taken at European level to protect the population form harmful UV exposure.

These efforts toward melanoma prevention are briefly reviewed in this presentation, with the aim of highlighting the common challenges but also the potential common solutions and directions to be taken, in order to reduce melanoma morbidity and mortality in Eastern Europe.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.