Melanoma Incidence Up Among Younger Whites

July 14, 2008

The incidence of invasive cutaneous melanoma among white men and women aged 15 to 39 has significantly increased since 1973, and has more than doubled among younger women, according to a letter published online July 10 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of invasive cutaneous melanoma among white men and women aged 15 to 39 has significantly increased since 1973, and has more than doubled among younger women, according to a letter published online July 10 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Mark P. Purdue, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Md., and colleagues conducted an analysis of 1973-2004 data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

Between 1973 and 2004, the researchers found that the overall age-adjusted annual incidence of melanoma among young men increased from 4.7 to 7.7 cases per 100,000 persons. They also found that the age-adjusted annual incidence of melanoma among young women increased from 5.5 to 13.9 cases per 100,000 persons. While the incidence for men leveled off between 1980 and 2004, they found that the incidence for women declined between 1978 and 1987, stabilized between 1987 and 1992, and increased after 1992.

"Additional studies are needed to clarify whether the increasing trends for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are the result of changes in ultraviolet radiation exposure in this population," the authors conclude.

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