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‘Help a Dane:’ Denmark asks Spain to save its citizens from skin cancer

Humorous video campaign asks Spaniards for assistance in prevention of deadly disease

People in Denmark have a serious problem with skin cancer. On average, one Dane dies every day from the disease. Since exposure to the sun is a major cause of the condition, the Danish Cancer Society and TrygFonden foundation have launched a video campaign asking Spaniards to help protect Danes from burning.

“When we see a ray of sunlight we throw caution to the wind and fry under the sun for hours. Teach us to be more like you,” says the presenter of the video in heavily accented Spanish.

With a good dose of humor, the video converts a national problem into a matter of international cooperation. “Remind us that every minute counts under the Spanish sun, whether that be on the beach, exploring cities or in the markets. Remind us to stay in the shade, to put on a hat and wear sunscreen,” says the speaker in the video.

Danes who were out in the sun too long.
Danes who were out in the sun too long.

The Danes have not only turned to Spain for help with sun safety; videos have also been made for Thailand, Italy, Greece and France, the other top sunshine destinations for Scandinavian tourists.

“You guys are already busy with your own problems, but we respectfully beg you for your support,” says the presenter, while a group of badly sunburned Danes, red as lobsters and with tan lines of all types, sing in a choir beside him.

Another still shot from the video.
Another still shot from the video.

“Volunteer and help a Dane. In the name of the Danish People, our most sincere appreciation and see you soon,” says the presenter at the end of the video. The video (with English subtitles) can be found on the campaign website, where it is also possible to sign up as a volunteer. If you register you get “special thanks and a guide about how to help a Dane under the sun.” There is also a link to a more serious campaign in Danish with recommendations about how to prevent skin cancer.

According to the campaign, in Denmark there are 19.2 cases of skin cancer for every 100,000 inhabitants. For the same population in Spain, there are 6.9 cases.

Globally, skin cancer is one of the most frequently detected cancers. While there are different types, melanoma, which only represents 4% of cases, causes 79% of the fatalities, according to Melanoma Spain. Keeping an eye on moles that change in appearance, and on new moles is key to detecting the disease in its earliest stages, says the organization.

English version by Alyssa McMurtry.

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