As you probably know, the figures were released this Friday, some 5,000 cases of cancer have not been diagnosed since March, according to the Foundation against Cancer. The cause, obviously, is the Coronavirus pandemic and the reorganization of health services following the first wave.
And if in this count, 400 cases of melanoma are included, it does not take into account other skin cancers considered less serious, because there is less risk of dying from them.
However, these non-melanomas alone represent 4,830 undiagnosed cases from March 1 to September 18. With melanoma, this therefore represents 5,230 cases! Which is more than all the cancers put together that the Foundation against Cancer reports.
How to explain this large number of skin cancers?
First, simply, because “skin cancer is the most common cancer that exists”, recalls Professor Dominique Tennstedt, dermatologist.
But it is not the only reason. I have to say that “Skin cancer doesn’t hurt, like many cancers, but this one especially, except in very advanced stages. And so, people see a scab that doesn’t heal, that’s there, coming back, that one pulls out and comes back. And they are not necessarily careful, and especially by the fact that the consultations (with the first wave of confinement, note) were nevertheless extremely slow. They let things go “.
And add: “I remind you that for melanomas, which are much darker spots, which they generally do not crust, but which are indisputably growing, this can be catastrophic because this cancer metastasizes, that is to say say that it goes elsewhere very quickly, while the basal cell does not metastasize “.
A telephone consultation does not replace a real consultation
“Telephone consultations are very difficult when it comes to the skin since we cannot see the lesions”, says Dr Tennstedt. “Of course, some have sent in pictures or things like that, but while it’s true that it can catch our attention from time to time, nothing can replace a physical consultation.”.
Not consulting for fear of contracting the Coronavirus is therefore a terrible mistake, according to him. Especially since today important precautionary measures, including barrier gestures, are taken to avoid contamination.
And when we tell him about these 5,000 or so cases, he replies that it does “badly, because I tell myself that this is a side effect of the coronavirus and the way we have been managed. That is my personal opinion. It hurts me to know that there are people, and I personally know some myself that have not been diagnosed and are now in catastrophic states, if not worse “.
His message today: “If you have a scab, a sore that does not heal, and keeps coming back, see your dermatologist or your doctor; If you have a dark spot that is growing and that was not there before, see your dermatologist or doctor. treating “.