Local Daily News 14th June

The incidence of melanoma in the province of Alicante is the highest in the Valencian Community

The province of Alicante registers the highest incidence rate of melanoma in the Valencian Community. According to data from the Ministry of Health, the incidence rate is 13.3 per 100,000 new cases in men in Alicante, 10.8 in Valencia and 8.5 in Castellón. In women, the rates are 8.6 per 100,000 new cases in Alicante, 6.9 in Valencia and 8.4 in Castellón.

This Monday marks World Skin Cancer Day and melanoma represents 2% of all cancers in the Valencian Community, with 486 cases of the 20,395 new tumours. For both sexes, the incidence rate of melanoma in the Valencian Community stands at 9.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

In recent years, diagnoses have been increasing, since in 2010 the incidence in the Valencian Community was 2.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and 2.4 in women. For José Carlos Pascual, a dermatologist at the Quirón Hospital, this increase in cases is due to a greater diagnosis of the disease. The positive part “is that this tumour is increasingly being detected at earlier stages, which is increasing patient survival.”

In fact, in the Valencian Community the survival rate for this tumour is greater than 90% with an early diagnosis. The emergence of immunotherapy treatments, which consist of the use of drugs to help the person’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively, has contributed to this.

Pascual explains that there are currently dozens of types of skin cancer, “although the most common are melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.” When it comes to prevention, this specialist recalls the importance of protecting yourself from the sun, since its harmful effects on the skin are cumulative over the years. “Those who have suffered sunburn as children or young people are more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult,” he notes.

In addition to the use of protective creams, sunscreens that are taken orally have appeared on the market in recent years. “In no case do they replace creams, they are more of a complement, but they help prevent harmful damage from the sun,” says Pascual.

Reviewing the skin every two months is also important to detect cancerous lesions in time, although “it must be taken into account that most melanomas appear in areas of the body where there was nothing previously.” Less usual is that a mole becomes skin cancer.

Melanoma is a disease that affects more men (56% of cases) than women (44%). The mean age at diagnosis is 61 years in women and 64 in men. Incidence rates increase with age, but are slightly higher in women up to 50-54 years of age. From the age of 55, the rates are higher and increase in men, especially from the age of 75.

The mortality rate is twice as high in men (3.4 per 100,000) than in women (1.6) in the Valencian Community and increases with age in both sexes, being higher in men over 65 compared to women of the same age.

It is the most serious skin cancer due to its high potential for metastasis. Thus, survival in local tumours is 92%, worsens with regional extension to 72%, and decreases to 17% in metastatic cancer.

Finally, the General University Hospital of Elche diagnosed 52 new cases of melanoma among the population of the department in 2021. A fact that the Dermatology Service has released this Monday, coinciding with the celebration of World Skin Cancer Prevention Day . To commemorate the day, the nursing staff of the hospital consultation building have made posters and brochures that they have distributed in the lobby of the first floor of the building. The objective has been to make the population aware of the risk factors for skin cancer and to make them aware of the importance of protecting themselves from the sun.

The high cost of energy paralyses production lines in 20% of textile firms

Everything was looking good after the worst moment of the pandemic. In fact, the textile sector had managed to return to the figures of 2019 at the end of last year after the reconversion effort carried out to, among other issues, supply masks and other sanitary garments to both hospitals and the general population. However, the sharp increase in energy costs has become a burden for companies. This is revealed by a study carried out by employers, which shows that 20% of companies have been forced to paralyse production lines at some point and 15% to present Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE). Also, almost half of the firms have seen their treasuries stressed, in a context in which most have had to transfer these increases to prices. The situation, therefore, seems more than complicated, especially considering that a short-term solution to the war in Ukraine is not in sight, one of the main factors that is pushing up electricity and gas prices .

Textiles from the Valencian Community, mainly concentrated in the cluster formed by the Alicante counties of l’Alcoià and El Comtat, as well as the Valencian counties of Vall d’Albaida, had managed to invoice 2,010 million euros last year, a very similar to the one that was handled in 2019, before the coronavirus broke out. The sector’s ability to adapt had contributed to this, as it knew how to move quickly to manufacture sanitary garments, and also the good performance of fabrics for the home, at a time when citizens took advantage of confinement to renovate their homes. Everything pointed, therefore, to the fact that the slump had been overcome and that the sector was settling, once again, on the path of growth.

However, the outbreak of the war has put an end to this progression because, beyond the uncertainty that has invaded all markets, energy costs, which were already skyrocketing, have registered a new acceleration. In this sense, and with the aim of knowing the real impact on companies, the textile employers have carried out a survey that offers devastating conclusions. Thus, 98.1% of firms say that their activity is being affected, on the basis that they have had to endure increases in the last twelve months of an average of 180%. In fact, electricity and gas are accounting for 15% respectively of operating expenses, approaching those of personnel, which stand at 33%.

20% have had to stop a production line, which has meant giving up, on average, 24% of their manufacturing capacity. Likewise, 15% of companies have resorted to ERTEs to be able to deal with these increases, with a very marked variability in terms of the number of affected workers. It also highlights that only 13% of companies have fully assumed energy costs. Of the rest, 70% have partially transferred them to their prices and 17% completely. Those who have opted for partiality, have done so by 38%.

The study also indicates that 43% of companies have had treasury tensions and 32% have resorted to external financing to meet their obligations. Likewise, 46% have suffered a direct impact on their order portfolios.

The president of the Association of Textile Entrepreneurs of the Valencian Community (Ateval), Pepe Serna, points out that the companies that are suffering the most from the consequences of the escalation in electricity and gas costs are those in the finishing subsector, be energy intensive. “We are in a very complicated context, also due to the sharp rise in inflation. Our products are not essential, so we may find ourselves with a drop in consumption,” he warns.

For his part, the manager of the company Comersan, Jorge Sanjuan, regrets that the increase in energy costs, as well as transport and raw materials, is becoming a burden for companies when they were already beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Francisco Jover, manager of the group of the same name, expresses himself in similar terms, which has long opted for photovoltaic self-consumption to deal with this problem. All in all, he points out that gas has also gone through the roof and that this has an impact “on any company.”

The sale of homes marks its best month of April in Alicante since 2008 but begins to slow down its growth

Home sales continue to skyrocket in the province, although the rate of growth is beginning to slow down as a result of inflation and the growing uncertainty about economic developments. At least this is reflected in the latest statistics published this Monday by the National Institute of Statistics, which also show the absolute dominance of second-hand in the market, with more than 86% share.

In this way, during the month of April, a total of 3,098 houses were sold in the province, which represents the highest figure for this month since 2008, according to those of the public body, and 26% more than in the same period last year. Despite the fact that this is a more than considerable increase, it represents a slowdown with respect to what happened during previous months, since the first quarter closed with an average increase in transactions of more than 55%, and in the month of March the rise reached 69%, according to the same sources.

“The perception we have is that a certain slowdown is beginning to take place, a moderation of the very strong growth of the previous months, especially due to the consequences of inflation, which is very noticeable in the pockets of families, and because the economic situation it’s not so clear anymore. There is a lot of uncertainty”, says the president of the College of Real Estate Agents (API) of Alicante, Marifé Esteso.

In this way, Esteso points out that it is mainly the national and local buyers who are beginning to be somewhat more withdrawn, while sales to foreigners continue to advance strongly, according to her.

Along the same lines, the Idealista portal predicts that this “stabilisation” trend will probably continue “over the next few months, without ruling out small drops in the volume of sales caused by the increase in financing costs, economic uncertainty, high inflation and a stock of housing on the market that continues to dwindle”.

In this regard, it should be remembered that, despite the improvement in recent years, the construction of new-build housing has remained at very low levels compared to those that existed before the bursting of the real estate bubble, which has caused Most of the demand has been diverted to used housing, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to find properties with the requirements that buyers are now looking for.

In this way, of the homes sold -in reality, deeded- last April only 428 were newly built, barely 13% of the total; while the second hand monopolised 2,670 operations, the remaining 87%.

But, in addition, the increase in transactions among the former was barely 8.9%, compared to the 29.2% growth in the sale of used houses.

However, despite this slowdown, the truth is that the activity of the real estate market continues at the highest levels of the last 14 years. Specifically, it would be necessary to go back to April 2008, when 3,350 homes were sold, to find a higher sales figure in the province than this year.

As for the accumulated figure for the year, according to the National Institute of Statistics, in the first four months of 2022, 15,261 transactions were formalised in Alicante compared to 10,344 last year, which represents an increase of 47.5%. Of these, 1,990 corresponded to new-build homes (+13%) while 13,271 were second-hand (+54.6%).

Benidorm opens streets in Poniente: 500 spaces to alleviate the lack of parking at the gates of summer

New avenues with parking spaces that connect the northern area of ​​Vicente Pérez Devesa avenue with the southern area of ​​Armada Española, on the beachfront. The Poniente area of ​​Benidorm continues to grow, and not only in height with a dozen skyscrapers finished or under construction, but also with new streets that will improve mobility this summer. But not only that, the urbanisation of this area leaves nearly 500 new parking spaces on the surface at the gates of the start of the summer season, which will alleviate the lack of parking when there is a large influx of tourists.

The new roads of the Poniente 2/1 sector have been opened to traffic this Monday and, therefore, it will also be possible to park in the free parking spaces that are in each of them and ample spaces for pedestrians. The urbanisation works have lasted nearly a year in a partial plan that covers a total of 131,200 square metres. A great viewpoint towards Poniente is also added.

The investment for this action has been 10 million euros and is part of the urbanisation project for this sector. The roads are already in operation and the area has been attended by Mayor Toni Pérez, members of the municipal corporation, municipal technicians and representatives of the urban development agent, the TM Real Estate Group.

Thus, the Moralet avenues have been extended to their confluence at Armada Española avenue on the beachfront; the avenue of Mexico; and Guatemala Avenue. Two roundabouts have been created to improve mobility and lighten traffic. In addition, all the necessary services have been implemented, such as the drinking, rainwater and residual water networks, the medium and low voltage network, the public lighting network and the telecommunications, irrigation and gas networks. To this have been added the work in gardening to implement new green areas and trees.

But one of the improvements that will be most noticeable this summer is the creation of those 500 parking spaces on the surface that are located a few metres from Poniente beach and that will alleviate the parking problem that occurs especially in summer with the great influx of tourists. Because this part of the tourist capital is chosen by thousands of visitors to spend their holidays, many of them with second homes and who come in their vehicles to spend the summer season. In addition, it is also a beach chosen by many residents to spend the day, hence the need for parking.

It should be remembered that Poniente beach has spaces for vehicles for residents and a blue zone in summer. The new spaces in these roads a few metres from the first line will allow many to park for free from now on.

A car park has been built in the area with a large viewpoint at the top. A parking lot that is not yet operational and does not yet have a set date for its opening. This space will add 500 more spaces for cars. The urbanising agent of the partial plan 2/1 Poniente has also carried out this work erected about 200 metres from the beach. However, the City Council will have to decide whether to manage it directly or with an external company.

The works have been extended over time due to the “abrupt topography” of the area that has led to significant earth movements. The new roads have been executed “with clearing slopes or embankment formation”. In some cases, according to the project, it has been necessary to introduce “containment elements for the confinement of the land, by means of walls of different types”.

Mayor Toni Pérez explained that this work “completes the Poniente road branch while improving and reducing traffic on the first line and solving accessibility problems.” He recalled that just a year ago “what is now a green area used to be a rubbish dump” and stressed that there is still a large plot for public use on which the future athletics track will be built.

Regarding the Partial Plan 2/1 Poniente, the mayor also stressed the generation of “green areas and public spaces that allow promotion in this urbanisation” while “soft mobility has been provided throughout the urban space, with wide sidewalks and a great effort for sustainability”. He also highlighted the new trees and the “new avenues, which are endowed with the character that Benidorm has; with excellence, cycle paths, bike lanes and the pedestrian as the centre of all operations.”

The action has made it possible to connect the northern area of ​​Vicente Pérez Devesa Avenue with the southern area, which is the Spanish Navy, “where we have already started with the Low Emissions Zone”. Pérez assured that mobility “is going to improve a lot because we facilitate the circulation of those who enter Benidorm through Poniente, who will now have many more possibilities.”

The Poniente sector is one of the sectors that has developed the most in the last two years. The high-rise buildings do not stop growing, some of them with residents already in their homes. In the last seven years some eight towers have been built and others are in the pipeline. All in all, it was one of the plots of land to be developed in this area of ​​Benidorm, together with that of Murtal. In the latter, the urbanisation project has already been presented and with it the development of this area of ​​Poniente will be completed.

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