Melanoma is almost always curable when it is detected in its early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it is far more dangerous than other skin cancers and causes most skin cancer deaths.
How many people are affected by skin cancer? Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 68,720 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the United States during 2009.
Who survives skin cancer? For basal cell or squamous cell cancers, a cure is highly likely if detected and treated early. Melanoma, even though it can spread to other body parts quickly, is also highly curable if detected early and treated properly. The 5-year relative survival rate for patients with melanoma is 91%. For localized melanoma, the 5-year survival rate is 99%; survival rates for regional and distant stage diseases are 65% and 16% respectively. About 80% of melanomas are diagnosed at a localized stage.
How many people will die from skin cancer? The American Cancer Society estimates there will be about 11,590 deaths from skin cancer in 2009: 8,650 from melanoma and 2,940 from other skin cancers. ...
USNEWS.COM/HEALTH Steven Reinberg, Health Day Reporter http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/cancer/articles/2010/05/27/tanning-beds-can-greatly-boost-melanoma-risk.html
... John Overstreet, spokesman for the Indoor Tanning Association, said that "the latest science is contradictory. A study out just two weeks ago from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that UVA light does not cause melanoma." (Patients probably a lot darker than those in the Minnesota study below. Jim)
"So clearly, lots of studies are reaching far different conclusions," Overstreet said. "These other findings may not be promoted to the media as actively as those who may have a specific agenda, but they show that science is still wrestling with this issue and there's certainly still more to learn. We welcome a more complete body of research that will allow us to advise our customers on how to achieve their goals without unnecessary risk of overexposure." ...
The report is published in the May 27 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
For the study, Lazovich's team collected data on melanoma cases in Minnesota from 2004 through 2007. The researchers also conducted interviews and had patients complete questionnaires about indoor tanning, including the devices used, when the person began tanning and for how long.
The researchers found that among 1,167 people with melanoma, almost two-thirds (63 percent) had used tanning beds. Among those who used tanning beds, the risk for developing melanoma rose 74 percent, Lazovich's group found.
The risk for melanoma was significant whether the tanning beds used both UVA and UVB rays or UVA rays only. For beds using UVA rays, the risk of melanoma was increased 4.4-fold.
"What is remarkable about our results are that they are very consistent," Lazovich said. "We found these relationships whether we looked at it by age, by gender, by where the tumor was found or by how we measured how much people tanned or what kind of devices they used." ...