From 1970 to 2009, there was an increase in the incidence of melanoma among young adults, particularly females, according to a study published in the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Kurtis B. Reed, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project to identify patients aged 18 to 39 years in Olmsted County, Minn., who had a first lifetime diagnosis of melanoma from 1970 through 2009. Demographic and clinical data were collected, and estimates of melanoma incidence and overall and disease-specific survival were produced.
From 1970 to 2009, the researchers found that there was an eight-fold increase in melanoma incidence among young adult females and a four-fold increase among young adult males. There was an improvement in overall and disease-specific survival over time; each one-year increase in calendar year of diagnosis correlated with a decreased risk of overall and melanoma-specific death (hazard ratio, 0.92 and 0.91, respectively).
"This study demonstrates an increase in the incidence of melanoma among young adults in Olmsted County, Minnesota, with young women being at higher risk than young men," the authors write. "While the incidence is increasing, the mortality from this disease seems to be decreasing."
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For more information on melanoma treatment, read Dr. Kavita Mariwalla's editorial, "New Melanoma Treatments: A Panacea or a Pandora's Box."