Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dramatic rise in skin cancer in young adults

Date:
April 2, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Even as the rates of some cancers are falling, Mayo Clinic is seeing an alarming trend: the dramatic rise of skin cancer, especially among people under 40. According to a new study the incidence of melanoma has escalated, and young women are the hardest hit.

Even as the rates of some cancers are falling, Mayo Clinic is seeing an alarming trend: the dramatic rise of skin cancer, especially among people under 40. According to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the incidence of melanoma has escalated, and young women are the hardest hit.

Related Articles


"We anticipated we'd find rising rates, as other studies are suggesting, but we found an even higher incidence than the National Cancer Institute had reported using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result database, and in particular, a dramatic rise in women in their 20s and 30s," says lead investigator Jerry Brewer, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatologist. Researchers conducted a population-based study using records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a decades-long database of all patient care in Olmsted County, Minn. They looked for first-time diagnoses of melanoma in patients 18 to 39 from 1970 to 2009. The study found the incidence of melanoma increased eightfold among young women and fourfold among young men. The lifetime risk of melanoma is higher in males than females, but the opposite is true in young adults and adolescents, Dr. Brewer says.

Researchers also found mortality rates from the disease have improved over the years, likely due to early detection of skin cancer and prompt medical care.

"People are now more aware of their skin and of the need to see a doctor when they see changes," Dr. Brewer says. "As a result, many cases may be caught before the cancer advances to a deep melanoma, which is harder to treat."

The researchers speculate that the use of indoor tanning beds is a key culprit in the rising cancer rate in young women.

"A recent study reported that people who use indoor tanning beds frequently are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, and we know young women are more likely to use them than young men," Dr. Brewer says. Despite abundant information about the dangers of tanning beds, he adds, young women continue to use them. "The results of this study emphasize the importance of active interventions to decrease risk factors for skin cancer and, in particular, to continue to alert young women that indoor tanning has carcinogenic effects that increase the risk of melanoma."

Janey Helland, of Mapleton, Minn., didn't think twice when tanning in high school and college.

"I used tanning beds to get ready for homecoming and prom," she says. "In college, I tanned before a trip to Barbados because I didn't want to get sunburned." At age 21, Helland noticed an abnormal spot on her leg. It was melanoma, and the diagnosis changed Helland's life. "I really didn't know what my future was going to look like, or if I'd even have one."

Two years later, she is cancer-free and dedicated to educating others. "I would advocate that it's better to be safe than sorry," she says. "My advice is to educate yourself and research the risk factors."

Childhood sunburns and ultraviolet exposure in adulthood may also contribute to melanoma development, the researchers say.

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Other authors include Kurtis Reed, M.D., Christine Lohse, Kariline Bringe, Crystal Pruitt, and Lawrence Gibson, M.D. all of Mayo Clinic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kurtis B. Reed, Jerry D. Brewer, Christine M. Lohse, Kariline E. Bringe, Crystal N. Pruitt, Lawrence E. Gibson. Increasing Incidence of Melanoma Among Young Adults: An Epidemiological Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2012; 87 (4): 328 DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.01.010

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Dramatic rise in skin cancer in young adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402093158.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, April 2). Dramatic rise in skin cancer in young adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402093158.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Dramatic rise in skin cancer in young adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402093158.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins