New findings point to nine Northeast states bucking the trend of deaths associated with melanoma and cases on the rise sweeping through the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma cases have been on the rise for roughly 20 years with 2016 yielding some concerning numbers. Hence, approximately 10,000 U.S. citizens have succumbed to melanoma as of last year and nearly 76,000 others have been reported suffering from the disease. Nevertheless, new findings suggest that Pennsylvania, as well as eight other Northeast states are bucking the trend.
Among the various forms of cancer, melanoma is the least common but also the deadliest. However, the decline registered recently in the Northeast shows that fewer people die from melanoma and fewer individuals contract the disease. Dr. Christine Cabell, Geisinger Dermatologist believes the prevention programs available in the Northeast play a major part in the declining melanoma cases.
“People might be getting seen earlier, getting screened earlier and having biopsies earlier”, says Dr. Christine Cabell.
Furthermore, researchers also link the decline to the Melanoma Foundation’s contribution. Based in New England, the foundation has been known to provide individuals with sunscreen dispensers in recreational locations and public places in multiple key cities in New England, as well as other states.
However, even if the findings point to a decrease in melanoma cases and fatalities in the Northeast, Dr. Cabell is still concerned about teen’s exposure to harmful sun rays. Also, tanning beds seem to be responsible for many teen melanoma cases in her view. Nevertheless, Dr. Cabell is positive that Pennsylvania’s ban on artificial tanning will yield beneficial results.
Nevertheless, dermatologists say that ultraviolet ray exposure is not the only cause of melanoma, even though it is regarded as a major risk factor. Other factors that could lead to an individual developing melanoma could be tied to genetic predisposition to the disease or changes in a mole that a person has been born with which may have gone unnoticed. In order to raise awareness, Dr. Cabell urges people to perform self-skin checks at home to catch the condition in its early stages when it is most treatable. Research in the matter shows that people who are diagnosed with melanoma at an early stage have a 98 percent survival rate over a five-year period.
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