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ECPC and EADV launch first Global Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) Awareness Day


13 Jun 2019


Health & Consumers

Brussels, 13 June 2019 – The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) today launch the first ever Global NonMelanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) Awareness Day to raise awareness of NMSC and highlight its disproportionate impact on outdoor workers. According to research, the risk of developing NMSC can increase by as much as three times after only five years of outdoor work.1 In Europe alone, 15 million outdoor workers spend most of their working lives exposed to the sun without knowing the risks.

The global awareness day builds on the ‘Global Call to Action to End the Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Epidemic in Outdoor Workers’ launched in April in Paris with the support of nine organizations2, including patient advocacy groups, workers unions, occupational safety and health professionals, social security representatives, dermatologists and oncologists.

“We hope that, in cooperation with other stakeholders and by working closely with policy makers, we can identify and implement programs to better support outdoor workers who are at risk for or currently battling non-melanoma skin cancer.” – Kathi Apostolidis, ECPC President.

Global NMSC Awareness Day Activities

In order to mark the launch of the Global NMSC Awareness Day, the ECPC and the EADV are organizing a panel discussion on ‘Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC): Europe’s Hidden Occupational Disease’ in the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Lieve Wierinck. During the event, policymakers, doctors and employers will discuss the reality faced by millions of outdoor workers at risk for - or living with – NMSC and examine ways to make workplaces safer.

The non-melanoma skin cancer epidemic can no longer remain in the shadows. The White Paper we presented shows the alarming prevalence of the disease across the world. Today we call on governments to improve legislation and urge the European Union to include skin cancer by solar ultraviolet radiation in the EU Recommendation of Occupational Diseases and extend the EU Directive on optical radiation to sunlight.” – Prof. Dr. Swen Malte John, Chairman, Department of Dermatology & Environmental Medicine, University of Osnabrück

After the panel discussion, EADV will offer visual skin cancer screenings to raise awareness and educate participants about the need for regular check-ups with dermatologists.

Additionally, pictures and messages will be shared online using the hashtag #FacingtheSun, in order to create a global conversation on NMSC.

I am a proud supporter on the first ever Global Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Day and hope that the new European Parliament and the new European Commission will take action in order to tackle this under-recognized disease, which nonetheless has a massive impact on millions of outdoor workers around the world.” – MEP Lieve Wierinck, European Parliament.

About Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is by far the most frequently diagnosed cancer amongst fairskinned people.3 In Europe, the risk of developing NMSC is particularly acute. Across the continent, far more than 15 million people are at risk of chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation at their workplaces, making occupational NMSC a rising and important concern.This is especially worrying, as after five years of outdoor work, the risk of developing NMSC may increase three-fold.

Despite the threat it constitutes to outdoor workers, very few European countries recognize UV radiation inflicted occupational skin cancer as an occupational disease and solar radiation remains remarkably absent from the EU directive on occupational carcinogens and mutagens.This lack of official recognition of occupational skin cancer likely hinders the implementation of effective prevention and treatment measures.6

About the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)

The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) is the voice of cancer patients in Europe. With over 400 members, ECPC is Europe’s largest umbrella cancer patients’ association, covering all 28 EU member states and many other European and non-European countries. ECPC represents patients affected by all types of cancers, from the rarest to the most common.

About the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV)

Founded in 1987, EADV is a non-profit association whose vision is to be the premier European Dermato-Venereology Society, with the key aims of improving the quality of patient care, providing continuing medical education (CME) for all Dermato-Venereologists in Europe, and advocacy on behalf of the specialty and patients. The membership concept has been widened to include all areas of Europe and elsewhere, and to develop alliances and affiliations with other organisations. 

1 Trakatelli, M, Barkitzi, K, Apap, C, Majewski, S, De Vries. E and the EPIDERM group (2016) Skin cancer risk in
outdoor workers: a European multicenter case-control study. JEADV. 2016. 30 (Suppl. 3):5-11.
2 The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology
(EADO), the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), the Association of European Cancer Leagues
(ECL), the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), the
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and
Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT).
3 Didona D, Paolino G, Bottoni U, Cantisani C (2018) Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Pathogenesis Overview.
Biomedicines 6 (1):6. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines6010006. Last accessed 17 January 2019.
4 Garcovich, S, Colloca, G, Sollena, P, Andra, B, Balducci, L, Cho, WC, Bernabei, R and Peris K (2017) Skin Cancer
Epidemics in the Elderly as An Emerging Issue in Geriatric Oncology. Aging and Disease. 2017. 8(5):643-661. Doi:
5 John, SM, Kezic S (2017) Occupational skin diseases–Development and Implementation of European Standards on


Prevention of Occupational Skin Diseases. JEADV. 2017. 31 (Suppl. 4): 3-4. Doi: 10.1111/jdv.14276. 6 Ibid. 


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