Sun, tanning lamps suspected in rise in melanoma

Full story: Newsday 27
Jessica Shutovich, 23, of St. James, went under the lamps of a tanning salon twice a week for six years until she noticed skin damage and freckles under her eyes. Read more
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Daniella Viceccio

Queens Village, NY

#23 Jul 13, 2008
OMG LOLZ you guyz dont even understand. How am I supposed to get vinny and tony and sal (luv ya boyz!) to pay attention to me and buy me a coach bag if i'm all white and pasty? I mean i know all these italian boyz are smaller in the pants than most guyz but what can i say I love em!

Boca Raton, FL

#24 Jul 13, 2008
We had a guy at work who died of melanoma that he didn't get treated. It was an awful and quick death. Shock everyone up and those who tan stopped after hearing about it. He had a great tan and was always in the sun and tanning. The main thing is to not be complacent and think "its on the skin" and not get it treated. He did and it spread to his internal organs.
kandy little

United States

#25 Jul 13, 2008
i have tanned for 20 years mostly indoor with no problems this is a boo game by medical people to control the industry .100 per session medicaly,versus 50 monthy at a tanning salon . I Think the population has incresed 600 percent based on these stuides they forgot to tell that part
Robert Wheeldon

United States

#26 Jul 14, 2008
To whom is this news?
Melanoma Survivor

Pawtucket, RI

#27 Jul 15, 2008
I was diagnosed with melanoma in feb 2003 and had surgery within a week. I was a "front tanner" ! when I was at the beach or by the pool. However, I went to tanning salons from when I was 17 until I was about 30, not all the time only when I was going on vacation or for an event. I only wore underwear in the tanning salon, therefore I would get burnt on my backside which was never exposed to the natural sunlight. My melanoma was on my lower back. I know it was from the tanning salons, no one will ever tell me different. Even my doctors agree. I can't stress enough how dangerous tanning salons are. I am fortunate that I am ok now. I am 41 now and get checked every 3 months so far so good. Also I am not fair skinned and I have brown eyes, so when I originally went to the Derm with an itch on my back they didn't really this was anything, but I kept insisting that it was a new mole and it was very itchy. That is when they did the biopsy, thank god !!
Joseph Levy

Windsor, CO

#28 Jul 21, 2008
The report mentioned in this story was false and reckless, and all you have to do is read the data yourself to see.

The authors appeared more interested in making a political statement than in accurately reporting data. The statements surrounding their letter made many inferences that are in no way supported by data, ignore conflicting and confounding information and give a false impression about melanoma that could contribute to public misunderstanding.

Melanoma is increasing in men. Data do not suggest it is increasing in younger women.

In 2004 I gave a presentation to the American Society for Photobiology, analyzing the same data used in this report. The point of my presentation: That melanoma is increasing in older men, is declining in younger women and that public health messaging about melanoma is directed at the wrong group.

The U.S. government's own data show strongly that melanoma incidence and mortality are skyrocketing in men over age 50, but mortality has leveled off and even declined among younger women. Further, in Canada, both incidence and mortality rates for younger women are declining - not increasing.

Despite those facts, a group of researchers from National Institutes of Health published last week that melanoma incidence in young women has increased 50 percent since 1980. NIH doctors Mark Purdue, Laura Freeman, William Anderson and Margaret Tucker signed the letter.

They did not mention that, in that same time period, melanoma incidence in men over 50 increased nearly 300 percent - six times faster than in young women. That's a glaring omission, especially considering much of the press coverage of their paper reported that melanoma was not increasing in men.

Indeed, according to NCI's web site, the median age at diagnosis for melanoma of the skin is 59 years of age. Less than 1 percent of all melanomas are diagnosed under age 20. The doctors didn't point that out in their report either.

The paper also obscured the importance of confounding information:

- The authors reported that melanoma incidence in teen-age girls increased from around 9-cases-per-100,000 to about 13.9-per-100,000 in the past 25 years -- up about 50 percent. But that's just REPORTED INCIDENCE (not necessarily REAL incidence - REPORTED incidence) data. What has affected REPORTED incidence data in that time?

- There are 85 percent more dermatologists per capita in the United States today than there were in 1970. That would increase reported incidence without increasing REAL incidence. Many papers have been written on this.

- Young women are the most likely to visit dermatologists, whose business has become more-and-more cosmetic in recent years. Botox injections are the biggest dermatologic service today. That would account for an increase in diagnosis in that group.

- American Academy of Dermatology representatives have told FDA that dermatologists never used to routinely report melanoma incidence into cancer registries before the mid 1990s. Because they are reporting cases now that would artificially create the sense of an increase today as compared to years when cases were not reported into registries.

And yet the authors obscured and ignored this confounding information. How can you fail to mention that in a so-called scientific paper? That's not science. That's lobbying.

Media, PA

#29 Jul 4, 2010
My wife's situation is eerily similar to Christie's dad. Including the suffering in the last 6 weeks, especially the visible nodules (bumps) that just take over just under the skin and destroy the body from the inside when it all started on the outside. A cruel reminder of the cancer she had thought she beat 8 years earlier. She too avoided the sun since round 1 but swears it was too much time in the sun as a kid with acne whose folks had a house at the south jersey shore. She is in hospice now and will pass on soon at 59 years young. So sad and unnecessary.

All cancer is cruel but particularly this one that I did not take seriously enough and should have insisted she get follow-up screening even more than she did.

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