Melanoma is the most aggressive and most deadly type of skin cancer. Not only is melanoma extremely dangerous, but it is also increasing in prevalence across the United States.

According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, there were approximately 63,000 melanoma diagnoses made in 2009 with approximately 8650 deaths. The projected numbers for 2012 are even higher with 76,000 diagnoses and 9,000 deaths.

Why is melanoma increasing in prevalence?

“Some of the main causes of melanoma prevalence is due to the sun and the loss of the ozone layer,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “While sunscreens weren’t as effective 30 years ago, the ozone layer was more intact than it is now.”

Another one of the main causes of melanoma is the increase in the use of tanning beds.

“Tanning beds weren’t around 30 years ago and they are single-handledly the most likely culprit for the stunning increase in skin cancer and deadly melanoma,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma sometime throughout his or her life.

While there are many causes of melanoma, Dr. Joel Schlessinger has tips on how to avoid this potential deadly disease.

“Never, ever go in tanning beds as even one experience can lead to melanoma. It can take up to 20 years to see the full problems from tanning, so it won’t occur until years after the exposure, yet by that time, it is too late to help.”

If you have a mole or growth that exhibits skin cancer warning signs, contact your dermatologist immediately.

Posted Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 7:02 pm
Filed Under Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer
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