Melanoma

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Have you seen this article by Paul Fassa that has been all over Facebook about skin cancer and sunscreen? When you see things like this do you ever become curious and wonder if its true?  In this case, I couldn't resist. Is there really some new piece of research out there that turns everything I know about skin cancer and sunscreen on its head? In my world, this would be a big deal. So I took a look at the article and the actual research article it purports to cite: joim12251.  The study involved following about 30,000 Swedish women, recruited from 1990-1992. ...

Dermatologists have a few tools in their medical bag when it comes to solving the mystery of  lesions on the body.  Sometimes there is confusion as to why one type of biopsy is used over another.  (In fact, today's post was inspired by to a curious patient!)   So, what's the deal with biopsies? There are two ways to biopsy lesions to ensure that they are not melanoma- excisional biopsy and incisional biopsy. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), British Association of Dermatologist, and many other professional groups have stated that the...

A major European study recently combined the results of 27 other studies over the last 30 years in Europe looking at the relationship between tanning and melanoma. They confirmed several things that we suspected were true: Any use of indoor tanning is associated with a 20% higher risk of melanoma Tanning before the age of 35 doubles that risk But, they also found some very interesting new facts: Each exposure to a tanning bed is associated with a 1.8% increased risk of melanoma. The risk of melanoma continues to rise, particularly among young women About 500 people in the European Community countries where the study was done...

Q:  I've had a melanoma that penetrated about 3 mm into the dermis of my leg. It was removed but micro cells were discovered in sentinel lymph node biopsies in my groin and knee. I went thru standard Interferon treatments and it's now been more than 6 years since my surgery to remove it from my leg. I do go to a Dermatologist annually and there are no obvious signs of recurrence. I feel fine but the survival statistics plus biopsies make it hard to forget that it could have spread and is lurking in places unknown. Is there anything...

Q: Read study done in Germany that links fathers to sons gene related to melanoma genesis in families. Any more research done on it yet? Reader from Vancouver, WA A: Many studies have shown a genetic link, and some of the responsible genes are known (and can be tested for), but these mutations are only responsible for a small number of melanomas. In 90% of melanomas, the genetic changes leading to cancer are somatic mutations, meaning that they were not inherited and developed from scratch in the affected person. Here is where it gets interesting: Exposure to ultraviolet light will generate many of these mutations. ...

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