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Melanoma Rates in Teen Girls Have Doubled in the Last 40 Years

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be almost 77,000 new cases of melanoma in the U.S. this year, and almost 9,500 deaths. As summer fast approaches, it's a timely warning about the possible dangers of too much sun.
 
Adolescent melanoma, though rare, is on the rise, according to a new study.
 
For a study in the journal Pediatrics, researchers studied cancer data on children up to 19 years of age between 1973 and 2009.
 
A total of 1,230 Caucasian children were diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Among girls ages fifteen to nineteen, the incidence of melanoma doubled -- from 15 cases per million people in 1973 to almost 30 per million in 2009.  
 
The authors say more study is needed to find out what's behind that rise.
 
But it's a word to the wise about too much sun -- a major culprit in skin cancer.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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