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Cases Of Melanoma Skin Cancer Sharply Increased in Young Women

Armen Hareyan's picture

Melanoma cases of skin cancer increased by 50% in younger women, urging the need of more educational campaigns for younger people to help them understand how dangerous skin cancer is and what to do to protect themselves from the disease.

A team of researchers from National Cancer Institute examined data from government cancer statistics for the period between 1973 and 2004. Data from about 20000 skin cancer aged from 15 to 39 was examined in the study.

Researchers found that newly diagnosed cases of melanoma increased by 50% in younger women after 1980, but there was no significant increase among men. In 1980 the rate was about 9.4 out of 10,0000 cases of melanoma occurring among young women. In 2004 the number of such cases rose up to 13.9 out of 100000 cases. In young men the number of cases also increased from 4.7 out of 10,0000 in 1980 to 7.7 out of 10,0000 in 2004, but the increase is not significant.

According to American Cancer Society statistics, there are about 62,480 newly diagnosed melanoma cases and 8,420 death cases each year. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer occurring in pigment-producing cells. People of all races with different types of skin can suffer this disease. The main causes leading to skin cancer are ultraviolet radiation and genetic factors.

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Ultraviolet radiation comes mainly from two sources: sun and indoor tanning. Researchers did not look at the cause for such increase, but there are some key aspects that will lead to skin cancer, indeed.

Most women nowadays are spending a lot of time in tanning salons. Beauty professionals insist that artificial tanning is not dangerous and doesn't lead to skin cancer development. However, health professionals are sure that tanning exposes the skin to unnecessary and huge amount of ultraviolet radiation, which can not be healthy for skin.

Another reason why women suffer from skin cancer more than men is that women are more frequent users of sunscreens. Using sunscreens women feel safe and protected and this is why they stay outdoors more than they should and more then sunscreens can actually protect them. There are strict guidelines on how to use sunscreens, and most people usually ignore these guidelines.

Health officials remind that sunscreens need to be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors and need to be reapplied every 2 hours, because even waterproof sunscreens lose efficiency with time. Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., because ultraviolet radiation is the most dangerous during these hours.

Immediately consult a doctors if you find any suspicious spots on your skin, because skin cancer treatment is more effective if it is diagnosed early.



Usually stuff like this gets broken down into groups. What happened? What is the percentage of White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, etc.... women? What is the increase of Melanoma by each group as well? We do this for heart disease, diabetes, various other cancers, so what happened here?
No matter what steps are taken to reduce sun or tanning exposure it is still important to carefully examine your skin for suspicious moles that could portend a deadly melanoma. The traditional ABCD criteria can help guide risk assessment. A, for asymmetric lesions; B for moles with irregular Borders; C, for colors in the lesion; and D, for diameter greater than the tip of an eraser. More recently physicians have recognized the importance of moles that are new or getting larger in predicting high risk lesions. They have now added E for enlargement to the criteria and many recommend following the ABCDE’s. Although dermatologists almost always ask if you have any new or changing moles most people cannot accurately answer that question (particularly those with numerous moles and the greatest risk). One way to approach this problem for people at high risk is to use Total Body Photography to document the moles on your body. However, this is an expensive procedure (often costing $400-$600) that most insurance providers will not cover. There is now an inexpensive software program that allows people to use their own digital cameras at home to take their own body images at different time intervals (maximizing privacy). The images can be scaled and aligned and compared using a personal computer to allow for the efficient recognition of new or growing moles. This software was developed from funding provided by the National Cancer Institute and can be obtained by going to the website dermalert.com