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Melanoma Skyrockets with Young Adults

In the past 40 years, there has been a surprising rise of deadly skin cancer in 18-39-year-olds. Melanoma has grown by 800% in young women and 400% in young men.

Researchers studied data on 256 young adults who were diagnosed with melanoma between 1970 and 2009, and only 4.8 cases per 100,000 people were diagnosed. But the decade ending on Dec. 31, 2009, 30.8 cases per 100,000 people occurred.

Indoor ultraviolet tanning is more popular among young women than men, which is likely why more young women are getting melanoma than men. The UV rays used in the tanning booths are cancer-causing, so those who tan indoors are 74% more likely to get melanoma than those who don’t. Plus, indoor tanners are 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

Although these numbers are alarming, researchers stated that death from melanoma in young people is decreasing because of the higher rate of earlier diagnosis of melanoma. This lower incidence of death is connected to how more people are aware of skin changes and better diagnostic practices. Melanoma is much easier to cure when treated earlier. So, examine your skin regularly and get anything that is changing or looks unusual checked right away.

If you have noticed changes on your skin and are concerned, to prevent your conditions from worsening, you should contact Dr. Zimmet today.

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