Melanoma Rates Increasing in Young Adults, Women Hit Hardest

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Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study reveals that melanoma rates for young adults are increasing, and young women are suffering twice as much as young men, Health Day reports.

Mayo Clinic researchers used records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, which is a database of all patient care in Olmsted County, Minn. that spans decades. The researchers sought first-time diagnoses of melanoma in patients 19 to 39 years old between 1970 and 2009. They found that the occurrence of melanoma increased eight times in young women and four times in young men.

Researchers indicated that the use of indoor tanning beds may be contributing to the trend, but said ultraviolet exposure and childhood sunburns could also be a factor.

The study revealed, however, that although melanoma rates are on the rise, the number of people dying from skin cancer has decreased. Researchers attribute increased survival rates to early detection of the disease and prompt medical treatment.

The findings appear in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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