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Melanoma rates rising in Hungary

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, is on the rise in Hungary, with some 3,000 cases diagnosed each year, an associate professor at the University of Szeged's Department of Dermatology and Allergology told a press conference on Thursday.

Citing a study by the department involving 140 melanoma patients, Eszter Baltas said that even those who consider themselves more health-conscious weren’t going to dermatology screenings and tended to be unfamiliar with the risks of skin cancer.

Although more than two-thirds of melanoma patients feel that they had paid attention to their health in the year before their diagnosis, in reality just 15 percent of them had sought out screenings, she said. Altogether 38 percent of them had been unaware that melanoma was a malignant tumor, she added.

Fully 71 percent of female patients underwent regular screenings for breast cancer and 77 percent for cervical cancer.

In 54 percent of the cases, the melanoma is first detected by the patients themselves, Baltas said. In 25 percent of the cases, it is detected by doctors and in 21 percent of the cases by the patient’s partner.

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