Melanoma rates among young women and young men have climbed by 800% and 400% respectively in the last 4 decades. It appears that indoor tanning, which is much more popular among young women than young men, may account for the difference in the increase among women and men.
UV rays emitted by tanning beds are known to cause cancer. Indoor tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never used a tanning bed.
We are somehow failing to get the message out in such a way that young people are hearing it. I would love to hear from you about your experiences with tanning beds, what your friends think of it, and what you would suggest be done to modify this dangerous behavior.
Did you know that one person dies of melanoma every hour?
Make your appointment today for a complete skin exam! Deaths from melanoma are prevented by early detection.Appointment Request
Many patients have asked about the new treatments for advanced melanoma that have been covered in the media of late. In March, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab), a slow-acting immunotherapy for patients with advanced melanoma, was approved by the FDA. On August 17, Roche Genentech's Zelboraf (vemurafenib), which targets a BRAF V600E mutation which is found in 40 to 60 per cent of patients' melanomas, also received FDA approval. While both shown promise in their ability to prolong the lives of patients with metastatic melanoma, neither is a cure for these patients. Although previous therapies have shown little benefit, the good news is that both of these treatments have been able to give affected patients a significant remission from their disease, but the bad news is that no long-lasting remissions or cure from melanoma can be expected.
Also, only about half of patients tested responded to Zelboraf. Since BRAF mutations are more common in yougner patients who have melanoma, younger patients are more likely to respond.
Since the two act via different but complementary mechanisms, they may work better together, and a Phase III trial is about to start using them in combination. We are hoping better results will be seen. In the meantime, since Yervoy is slow to act wheras quick remissions have been seen with Zelboraf, Yervoy will probably be used in patients with metatastic disease that is not rapidly advancing, saving Zelboraf for later more advanced disease, and Zelboraf may be used for patients with rapidly advancing disease. There may still be a role for the more familiar treatment with Interleukin-2 (IL-2), since the side effects with Yervoy can be severe. The role of the current therapies of interferon and DTIC, as well as IL-2, may be uncertain without comparative studies, but undoubtably there will be a role for each of these agents for some patient.
The best cure is PREVENTION. Come and learn about what your specific risk factors might be and what you can do to minimize those risks.
Read more about these treatments at http://www.skinandallergynews.com/views/commentaries/single-article/q-a-putting-the-new-melanoma-drugs-to-work/3e51744e17.html
If you do nothing for yourself and those you love today, watch this video. I too, have felt the heartache of seeing a young, vibrant woman in her early thirties die of melanoma. Tell the teens you know to avoid tanning beds like the plaque. Send this video to their facebook page. (I defy you to not cry.)
This month is Melanoma Month. Please make your appointment today for a complete skin exam! Melanoma is increasing exponentially not only in the United States, but worldwide, but death from melanoma can be prevented by early detection. I use a dermatoscope to detect early lesions and prevent unnecessary surgeries. We also look for signs of other diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, liver, heart and kidney problems, so it really is for everyone, and is recommended by The American Medical Association and The American Academy of Dermatology.