SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A new study from the Mayo Clinic finds new melanoma cases among young people are skyrocketing. Between the years of 1970 and 2009, melanoma increased eightfold among young women, and fourfold among young men 18 to 39.
Debbie Giovannoni admits she likes the sun. “I like the glow. I like the way you look, and I like the way you feel."
She was surprised by the new melanoma numbers. So was Ryan Hess who says he does not suntan at all, and isn’t worries because he wears sunscreen. But, he thought melanoma was an older persons’ disease. “I don't worry about melanoma. I worry about it for my grandpa and my dad because they worked on a farm when they were growing up, but me because I wear so much sunscreen I don’t' really worry about it."
Men generally have a higher lifetime risk of deadly skin cancer than women, but the opposite is true for young women. The higher risk is attributed, in part, to tanning beds.
The International Agency of Research on Cancer declared tanning beds a human carcinogen. Dr. Jerry Brewer from the Mayo Clinic says they give you seven times the dose of UV radiation as the sun.
Regardless of where young men and women are getting exposed to the harmful rays, health experts want them to know the ABC’S of melanoma, because seeing signs early could save lives.
Here they are, A through E:
A. asymmetry: one side of a mole or dark spot looks different from the other side
B. Border: instead of circular or oval, the mole has a jagged edge,
C. Color: the mole has more than one color... a dark area... and a light area or the colors red, white or blue within it.
D. Diameter: The mole is larger than 6 mm across, roughly the size of a pencil. And,
E. Evolution: any changes are noted in the mole including itching or bleeding.
Anyone who notices any of these signs should contact their family doctor immediately.