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Sweden hit by sharp rise in skin cancer deaths

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File photo: TT
13:41 CEST+02:00
More Swedes than ever are dying from skin cancer, with a 39-percent increase in people losing their battle with the disease today compared to how many lives it claimed ten years ago.
The number of diagnosed cases of skin cancer has increased in Sweden, reported the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden) in its annual report. 
 
In 2002, 380 Swedes died as a result of malignant melanomas. Ten years on in 2012, that number had gone up to 528. The jump was not due to the disease becoming more deadly, the TT news agency noted in its review, rather it came down to more people falling ill - malignant melanomas were the fastest-growing cancer form in Sweden.
 
At the same time, the foundation warned, there was a distinct shortage of skin doctors in Sweden. Cancerfonden mapped specialist skin care centres across Sweden and found that the number of doctors was concentrated to certain areas. In Stockholm, for example, there was one specialist per 20,777 inhabitants, while in mostly rural Dalarna County the corresponding figure was 68,305.
 
Overall, Sweden lacked specialist cancer doctors and nurses, the foundation cautioned.

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"A lack of pathologists and radiologists creates bottlenecks both for diagnosis and treatment," secretary general Stefan Berg said in a statement. 

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