Monday, August 29, 2011
Melanoma and Young Women
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses the sobering fact that melanoma is now the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in young women. Incidents of melanoma have been on the rise in the last 30 years, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and the rate among white women aged 15 to 39 has grown by an average of three percent a year for the last 20 years. The article goes on to state that melanoma “is the most common form of cancer for women aged 25 to 29…and the second most common for females 15 to 30, together the prime age range of tanning salon customers.”
This trend parallels a rise in the use of tanning salons and time spent tanning on the beach. Most women report that after lying in a tanning bed they feel more confident and beautiful, thus leading to more frequent visits. The article states that “despite the warnings and growing body of scientific evidence, young women continue to go to tanning salons, in part, some experts believe, because the tanning salons play down the scientific evidence and play up the benefits of vitamin D from ultraviolet rays."
Most young women do not realize the seriousness of this cancer. In intense circumstances, melanoma may need to be treated with chemotherapy and frequent visits to the dermatologist for the remainder of their lives.
Stay away from tanning beds, wear sunscreen and remember most skin cancers are treatable when caught early. Visit your dermatologist today.