Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Melanoma cases increased by 50%

Melanoma rates have risen 50% among young women in the U.S. since 1980, a trend that may be related to an increase in the use of tanning salons and exposure to the sun's damaging rays, according to a report released Thursday.

Among young men, melanoma rates have remained steady, the study found.

The most lethal skin cancer, melanoma occurs in pigment-producing cells. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 62,480 new cases of melanoma and 8,420 deaths from it in the U.S. this year.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the biggest risk factor for developing the cancer, although genetic factors can also contribute. People with fair skin are most at risk, but melanoma occurs in people of all races and skin tones.

People can reduce their general risk of developing melanoma by avoiding sun exposure when the sun's rays are strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; wearing protective clothing and a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater; and not actively seeking a tan in the sun or a salon.

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Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post on melanoma--but wouldn't seem likely that more people than ever before go to derms for skin check-ups and overwhelmingly these are females?
what do you think?


Kelly Shipp said...

Joe - that's likely a factor, but there's also more pressure for women to tan as well.