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Baby Boomers And Skin Cancer

Baby boomers may have a new reputation. According to new cancer research, they are five times more likely to be diagnosed with malignant melanoma — the type of skin cancer that kills the most people.

The incidence rates of melanoma have risen from 7 cases per 100,000 people in the 1970′s to 36 cases per 100,000 today. The rising rate corresponds to the increase in tanning during the 1970′s, when baby boomers were young adults.

Parents and grandparents of teens should be checked by dermatologists as part of their preventive healthcare. I can only hope that teens today will be responsible for the stopping of this increase as they’ve grown up with the message that sunscreen is important and should be a daily part of their lives.

Photo credit: tata_aka_T

This post, Baby Boomers And Skin Cancer, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

All About Skin Cancer

The entire March issue of Archives of Dermatology appears to be dedicated to skin cancer — melanoma and non-melanoma. 

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) represents 65% to 75% of all skin cancers. Most occur on sun-exposed parts of the face, ears, scalp, shoulders, and back. Intense short-term UVB exposure is important in the formation of BCC. Clinical features include pearly translucent flesh-colored papules or nodules with superficial telangiectasias (broken blood vessels). More active lesions may have rolled edges or ulcerated centers.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) represent 30% to 65% of all cutaneous malignancies.  SCCs are most attributable to UVB exposure, long-term or accumulative exposure over years. Clinical features include crusted papules and plaques that may become indurated, nodular, or ulcerated. SCC may arise in chronic wounds, scars, and leg ulcers. Recurrent SCC development within 3 years is 18%, a 10-fold higher incidence compared with initial SCC diagnosis in the general population.

Malignant melanoma (MM) represents the most serious of all cutaneous malignancies. It is estimated that approximately 65% to 90% are caused by UV exposure, predominantly UVA. Roughly 10% of all melanoma cases are strictly hereditary. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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