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Melanoma on the rise among young adults


Rochester, Minn. — Incidence of melanoma appears to be increasing among young adults, especially females, according to a Mayo Clinic study.

HealthDay News reports that Kurtis B. Reed, M.D., and colleagues used data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project to identify patients ages 18 to 39 years who had a first diagnosis of melanoma from 1970 through 2009 in Olmsted County, Minn. Investigators collected demographic and clinical data to generate estimates of melanoma incidence and overall and disease-specific survival.

Researchers found an eightfold increase in melanoma incidence among young adult females and a fourfold increase among young adult males during that time span. At the same time, investigators noted 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.

“This study demonstrates an increase in the incidence of melanoma among young adults in Olmsted County, Minn., with young women being at higher risk than young men,” the authors wrote. “While the incidence is increasing, the mortality from this disease seems to be decreasing.”

The authors advised “continued close monitoring of this high-risk population.”

The study appears in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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