Sociodemographic Characteristics for Melanoma

The 76,690 men and women that are estimated to be diagnosed with melanoma this year should pay special attention to their skin and what category may put them in an at-risk range. The National Cancer Institute also predicts that 9,480 of those diagnoses will lead them to their death.

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and seventh most common cancer in women. However, it is the most serious and dangerous type of skin cancer. The rate of melanoma rises more rapidly than any other potentially preventable cancer in the United States. Because it can be in fact be prevented.

The groups that fell between the most at-risk categories depended on their age, skin type, and gender. From 2006 to 2010, almost a quarter of all melanoma diagnoses occurred between ages 55 and 64, with less than 1 percent occurring under the age of 20.

Those with white skin are an overwhelming majority of those diagnosed with skin cancer. The lighter the skin, the higher the incidence rate, in fact, almost 32 percent of the male US population is white. The Hispanic population comes in second with less 4.7 percent; American Indian/Alaska Native in third with 4.1 percent; Asian/ Pacific Islander with 1.6 percent; and last is Black ethnicity with only an incidence rate of 1.1 percent every year. Women follow similar percentages, however at lower rates.

Less than 17 percent of women per 100,000 were diagnosed with melanoma, while over 27 percent of men per 100,000 were diagnosed.

Of course the most important factor for developing melanoma is sun exposure. Sun goddesses beware, people who have excessive sun exposure, such as tanning beds, are at increased risk. Those with blond or red hair, many freckles or light eye color are also at increased risk.

It is important to undergo regular skin exams by skin cancer dermatologist, Dr. Cameron Rokhsar who can diagnose and recognize cancer signs and melanoma-risk factors.

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