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HHS HealthBeat (February 17, 2014)

Rising melanoma

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

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic report a rising number of middle-aged men and women developing the dangerous skin cancer melanoma. Dr. Jerry Brewer looked at data on residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, where the clinic’s Rochester facility is located. He checked the years from 1970 to 2009 and people between 40 and 60 years old.

“The incidence of melanoma has risen four and a half-fold in men, and 24-fold in women, and when you look at everybody overall, it was about 7.6-fold higher.”

Olmsted County, Minnesota, isn’t exactly known for year-long outdoor tanning, so the researchers suspect the rise in melanoma is related to greater use of tanning beds.

The study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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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: February 17, 2014