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Cancer blog: White Women with Skin Cancer History At Risk Of Melanoma

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Dec 21, 2005

White Women with Skin Cancer History At Risk Of Melanoma

White Women with Skin Cancer History At Risk Of Melanoma
A Northwestern University study from Chicago suggests older white women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer are more liable to develop melanoma.

'This study adds a history of the comparatively favorable non-melanoma skin cancer to the list of known risk factors for melanoma in both sun lovers and shade dwellers alike,' says lead author Dr. Carol Rosenberg, and assistant professor medicine at Northwestern`s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study found postmenopausal, non-Hispanic white women aged 50 to 79 years with a history of non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, but no other malignancies, were more than twice as likely to develop melanoma over a period of 6.5 years compared with women who had no history of non-melanoma skin cancer, no matter how much sun exposure or other lifestyle variables they had experienced.

'Our study further defines melanoma risk in post-menopausal women and, it is hoped, will sensitize the medical community to this risk....' said Rosenberg. 'This skin surveillance imperative may serve to be lifesaving in predisposed women.'

But because non-melanoma skin cancers frequently have good prognosis, patients are not likely to be questioned distinctively about a history during the course of a routine general physical examination.

Melanoma is frequently a deadly disease because it is not easy to treat once it has spread beyond its initial site. Although melanoma accounts for only 4 percent of all skin cancers, someone dies every hour from melanoma in the United States.

Janet      



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Janet      


Cancer
Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.

Cancer blog: White Women with Skin Cancer History At Risk Of Melanoma

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