Consider this a ‘don’t let this happen to you’ post. As a skin cancer sufferer, I wanted to share this information with you.
I have had three basal cell carcinomas surgically removed in the past few years. You can read the details on my Page Skin Cancer Facts and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular. My dermatologist told me, “There is no such thing as a healthy tan.”
The incidence of melanoma is rising, according to Mary Martini, MD, FAAD Associate professor Dermatology, Director, Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinic Northwestern University.
Dr. Martini said that in 1900 the incidence of melanoma was one in 2000. In 2004 it had risen to one in 70 and by 2012 melanoma incidence had climbed to one in 58. Melanoma is the rarest form of cancer, but it is the most deadly.
Melanoma is an odd duck. The website Second Opinions points out that “During the 1980s and early ’90s more than a dozen studies compared histories of sunburn in patients with melanoma and controls. But differences in design and definition of sunburn make it difficult to quantify a single estimate of risk.”
“There is five times more melanoma in Scotland on the feet than on the hands. And melanoma in Orkney and Shetland is ten times that of the Mediterranean islands.”
Dr. Martini was speaking before a Northwestern Memorial Hospital Healthy Transitions Program® .
Another sobering statistic she offered was the changes in overall cancer mortality from 1975 to 2000. Prostate cancer mortality has fallen five percent, breast cancer mortality has fallen 15 percent, colorectal cancer is down 25 percent, but death from melanoma has risen 28 percent. Continue reading