Skin cancer 'becoming more frequent among young people'

3 April 2012

There has been a rapid rise in the number of skin cancer cases reported by one medical care and research specialist.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the rate of such a life-threatening disease is continuing to rise at a time when other cancers are recording falling numbers.

Researchers at the institute recorded in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings that this is a problem particularly in people under the age of 40 years.

Upon analysing first-time diagnoses of melanoma in patients aged 18 to 39 from 1970 to 2009, the incidence of melanoma jumped eightfold in young women and fourfold for men in this age range.

Jerry Brewer, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist and a lead investigator in the study, advised: "People are now more aware of their skin and of the need to see a doctor when they see changes. As a result, many cases may be caught before the cancer advances to a deep melanoma, which is harder to treat."

Bevis Man, from the British Skin Foundation, recently warned that getting sunburnt can increase the threat of developing skin cancer in later life.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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