October 6.- The prevalence of skin cancer in Cuba and the development of therapeutic injectibles to treat allergies caused by dust mites, were among issues discussed during several international conferences on dermatology and allergies, taking place in Havana’s International Conference Center, October 4-7.
Dr. Olaine Gray Lovio explained to the press, prior to the events, that malignant growths on the skin are among the most prevalent cancers on the island, given the tropical climate and strong solar radiation during a large part of the day.
Every year in Cuba, approximately 8,000 cases of this disease, described as basal or squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, are diagnosed, causing some 400 deaths. Emphasis is therefore being placed on reducing direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, especially in the first 20 years of life.
Dr. Gray, head of Dermatology Services at the Manuel Fajardo University Hospital and coordinator of the Ministry of Public Heath’s skin cancer program, advises avoiding the sun during the hours of greatest intensity, between 10:00am and 5:00pm; wearing clothes of pastel colors that almost entirely cover the skin; using hats and parasols to protect the face; and applying sunscreen every three or four hours during the day.
She likewise called for efforts to plant trees along city streets to provide shade in public areas, and building awareness within the population that interior lighting can also damage the skin if fixtures are not covered with protective sheeting.
Presented during the Dermatology Congress were positive results attained in the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases that damage the skin, and of leprosy, which has not considered a health problem in Cuba since 1993. Time was also allotted to discuss dermatological pathologies in children and older adults.
On the first day of the gathering, specialty courses were offered participants, followed by the convening of the 10th Cuban National Dermatology Congress; the First Encounter of Latin American, Caribbean, and African Dermatologist
Trained in Cuba; the 6th Symposium of the Ibero-Latin American Academy of Dermatology’s Youth Chapter; the 4th International Seminar presented by the Placental Histotherapy Center; and the 6th National Sobeida Lovio Memorial Skin Cancer Day.