Urban and higher socioeconomic settings increase the risk of melanoma

Archive image taken on Las Canteras beach, in the capital of Gran Canaria / Juan Carlos Alonso

A scientist from the ULPGC, Mercè Grau, draws the map of the incidence of skin cancer in Gran Canaria. This is a pioneering study in integrating the distribution of cases and risk factors

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Mercè Grau, doctoral student of the Biomedicine Research Program of the ULPGC, signs an article in the scientific journal Cancer Causes & Control, in which
The first map on the incidence and distribution of melanoma on the island of Gran Canaria is publisheda, also considering demographic, environmental and socioeconomic risk factors, informs the university in a press release.

The work, entitled "
Evaluation of the effect of environmental and socioeconomic factors on the incidence of cutaneous melanoma: a spatial study on an island scale in Gran Canaria (Spain), 2007-2018», is also signed by Leopoldo Borrego (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Gregorio Carretero (Doctor Negrín University Hospital, Las Palmas), Pablo Almeida (Insular Hospital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas), and Jorge Cano (Regional Office for Africa – WHO).

This study is a pioneer in integrating both the distribution of cases and the risk factors mentionedpresenting the data on a map at a small geographic scale (census section) that allows identifying the "hot spots" of incidence of the disease, that is, those where the incidence is higher than expected, and cold spots, where it is lower , and linking them to the factors evaluated.

Between 2007 and 2018

The work, which covers a wide time series from 2007 to 2018, combines census data (demographic and socioeconomic) and satellite data (environmental, surface type, altitude, etc.), so
it is a novel approach aggregating data of different types at a small geographic scale, and has made it possible to see which of these factors best explain the distribution of cases on the map. It is the first time that a study in the field of melanoma has been carried out with this methodology in our country.

The incidence in the population living in ravines is also higher than expected

From the study have been derived
conclusions such as residing in urban census tracts, and especially in those with a higher socioeconomic level, would increase the risk of melanoma. Likewise, it has identified natural spaces on the Island, such as
ravines, where the incidence is higher than expectedviewed.

Given the geographical pattern found, the unique population history and the orography of the island, this ULPGC study highlights the relevance of Gran Canaria as an area of ​​international interest for future research work on the study of genetic and toxic factors. in the causes of melanoma.

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