“Life Goes On – Live your Skin!”: A Social Solidarity Project
Introduction: Premalignant cutaneous lesions, skin cancer, and cutaneous xerosis are diseases whose incidence continues to increase in our older population. Concerning the contest “Dermatologist from the Heart” awarded by Fondation La Roche Posay in 2015, we put into practice the winning project “Life goes on, Live your skin!”. The main purpose of the project was to provide specialized health assistance and prevention of skin cancer and cutaneous xerosis in a population over 65 years old living in social institutions in the district of Santarém.
Material and Methods: Between February 2016 and April 2017, a medical team consisting of a specialist and two Dermatovenereology residents visited eight carefully selected institutions of the area of Santarém.
Results: A total of 301 patients were observed, with a high prevalence of actinic keratoses (42.8%) and cutaneous xerosis (34.2%), followed by basal cell carcinoma (9.3%), suspected pigmented lesions (3.7%) and squamous cell carcinoma (1.7%).
Conclusion: This project allowed us to provide health care in distant places and to a population with limited access to specialized medical care, thereby increasing their quality of life, to obtain real numbers about prevalence of frequent pathologies in elderly, screen a high number of patients, treat premalignant lesions and avoid their evolution to skin cancer, and establish primary and secondary prevention programs in the institutions.
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