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.

"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 July 31, 2014 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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