Mayo: Skin cancer on the rise

Published: May. 17, 2017 at 6:20 AM CDT
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Researchers at Mayo Clinic say new diagnoses for two types of skin cancer increased in recent years. The results have the study’s senior author arguing for sunscreen use – every day, year-round on all exposed skin.

The researchers found that, between 2000 and 2010, squamous cell carcinoma (also called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma) diagnoses increased 263 percent and basal cell carcinomas increased 145 percent.

They compared the 2000-2010 period to two other segments of time: 1976-1984 and 1985-1992.

Women 30-49 experienced the greatest increase in basal cell carcinoma diagnoses; whereas, women 40-59 and 70-79 experienced the greatest increase in squamous cell carcinomas.

The authors also reported that shifts in exposure to UV light may be the reason for the shift in where the cancer tumors are found. Earlier, these cancers were found on the back and neck. Now, records showed that basal cell tumors increased on the torso, with squamous cell carcinomas on the arms and legs.

Doctor Christian Baum, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist and the study’s senior author says the damage accumulates.

“Eventually, those blistering sunburns of your youth and hot, reddened skin, and peeling shoulders of your adulthood can add up to one or more skin cancers.”