'Burkini' could save lives through skin cancer protection

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While debate about the "burkini" swimwear continues on in European politics, skin cancer experts gathered for a congress in Austria claim the full-body swimming costume may actually save lives.

Gathered at the 16th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin (WCCS) in the Austrian capital that kicked off Wednesday, the experts pointed out that potentially fatal skin cancers such as melanoma or basal-cell carcinoma are caused by UV light exposure, Austria Press Agency has reported.

The instances of these forms of cancer have escalated dramatically since the Second World War, and are projected to increase further in the decades ahead.

Sunscreens are not a particularly effective means of protecting against skin cancers, with one German study shown by the experts indicating that the development of melanoma precursors are not reduced by use of such creams and lotions.

German dermatology expert Claus Garbe said clothing, such as in the form of the burkini, is currently the best means of protection against skin cancers.

He noted that the swimwear was initially developed in Australia, where skin cancers occur at a very high rate, and that at present half of those who wear them are non-Muslims.

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