Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and normally associated with older people, but a new Mayo clinic study shows the rate of the disease is rising among people under the age of 40.
Researchers examined a data base of patients in Olmsted County, Minnesota and looked at first time diagnoses of melanoma in patients between the ages of 18 to 39 from 1970 to 2009.
The study showed melanoma cases increased eightfold among women during that period and fourfold for men.
“Young people still think its attractive and healthy to have a little bit of a tan.” said Dr. Timothy Jochen of Contour Dermatology in Rancho Mirage. “In fact they say teenagers will use tanning beds before they have a prom or before a special event, so that may be associated with the increase risk of melanoma.”
When in the natural sun, dermatolgists recommend you use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
If melanoma is caught early, it’s curable. Doctors recommend you be on the lookout for unusual marks that develop on your body, and then see a dermatologist immediately.