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HEALTH WATCH! SKIN CANCER ON THE RISE AMONG YOUNGER WOMEN

DESPITE PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN, DANGEROUS MELANOMAS UP 50% SINCE 1980. EXCESSIVE TANNING BLAMED

operatingroom.JPEGMore bad news for sun lovers, particuarly for younger females. A just released analysis of government cancer statistics from 1973 to 2004 revealed that the rate of new melanoma cases – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – in younger women has jumped 50 percent since 1980 going from 5.5 cases per 100,000 per year at the start of the survey period to 13.9 per 100,000 per year in 2004, while the number of cases among men of similar ages remained static.

Though the aforementioned survey did not officially take into account the reasons for the increase and for the fact that the cancer rates did not increase in men of the same age group, scientists believe that the discrepancy can be attributed to two distinct lifestyle choices: the tendency among younger women to spend more time outdoors, and their habit of more frequently pursuing artificial tanning than men of the same age group.

In the area of 62,000 melanoma cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, with more than 8,400 people annually dying of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society

The findings are significant because they point to the failure of public education campaigns to educate Americans about the risks of skin cancer from sun tanning.

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