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HHS HealthBeat (November 11, 2011)

The burden of melanoma

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gery Guy used national data on melanoma deaths, looking at how long people might have lived if not for their melanoma:

``The years of potential life lost due to melanoma are higher than for other cancers. An American dying from melanoma loses about 20 years of life, compared to an average of about 17 years for other cancers.’’  (12 seconds)

Guy also looked at how much money they would have earned if they had lived. He says their lost future earnings came to about $413,000.

Sun protection, such as sunscreens and long-sleeve clothing, can reduce the risk of getting melanoma.

The study is in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 10, 2011