The epidemiology, prevention, and detection of melanoma

Ochsner Cancer Institute, Department of Surgery Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA.
Ochsner Journal 01/2010; 10(2):56-65.
Source: PubMed


We are seeing a record number of newly diagnosed skin cancers worldwide, with the incidence of melanoma increasing at a faster rate than almost all other cancers. As clinicians, we will have, by far, the greatest impact on reducing this incidence through better methods of early detection of melanoma and proven prevention methods and techniques. The medical community must enhance its efforts to increase its training of new health care personnel who are capable of diagnosing and treating this record number of patients with skin cancer. We must also try to increase the access to our limited number of dermatologists and provide novel ways of patient education such as through skin self-examinations, total body photography, and improved education for our children. By providing easier access to skin examinations, we will increase our chances of detecting melanoma in its earliest and most curable form. The dangers of indoor tanning beds and salons must be transparent to those that use them, focusing on expanding the oversight of such facilities by our local and federal governmental agencies while establishing legislation in several states to further limit their use to our youth, who are especially at high risk for developing melanoma in the future. This review will focus on the epidemiology, prevention, and detection of melanoma.

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    • "Recently, intensive public health sun protection programs resulted in decreasing incidence rates in, particularly, younger age groups. However, the world-wide incidence and burden of melanoma continue to rise, mainly due to the aging population, continued high recreational sun exposure habits, changing climate patterns which may increase ambient UV radiation, and increasing environmental contamination with carcinogenic chemical compounds (Kefford 2009; Riker et al. 2010; Singh et al. 2011; Yuspa 1986). The majority of melanomata fall into four groups: (a) melanoma of the superficial-spreading type, (b) melanoma of the lentigo-maligna type, (c) melanoma of the nodular type, and (d) melanoma of the eye. "
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    ABSTRACT: Melanoma is the most malignant type of all skin neoplasms. Its worldwide incidence has steadily increased during the past decades, suggesting a probable melanoma 'epidemic'. Although current clinical, morphologic, and histopathologic methods provide insights into disease behavior and outcome, melanoma is still an unpredictable disease. Once in an advanced stage, it remains a disastrous affliction with scarce therapeutic options. Therefore, significant efforts need to be made in finding informative biomarkers or surrogate markers that could aid or improve early diagnosis of melanoma, its correct staging, the discrimination of other pathological conditions as well as indicate patients' prognosis or the most appropriate therapeutic regimes. Ideally these markers are secreted into body fluids and easily amenable to the design of non-invasive clinical tests. A critical view on the current debate on serologic protein markers, e.g., lactate dehydrogenase, tyrosinase, and melanoma inhibiting activity, and some selected non-protein markers, e.g., 5-S-cysteinyl-dopa and circulating nucleic acids, will be offered and novel innovative approaches currently being explored will be discussed. Special emphasis is put on the S100 family of calcium binding proteins that is more and more emerging as a potentially important group of both molecular key players and biomarkers in the etiology, progression, manifestation, and therapy of neoplastic disorders, including malignant melanoma. Notably, S100B and, possibly, other S100 proteins like S100A4 are assumed to fulfill requirements which make them strong biomarker candidates in melanoma. Moreover, S100 proteins receive attention as possible targets of therapeutic intervention moving closer to clinical impact.
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    • "Subungual melanoma is a relatively uncommon disease, accounting for 1% to 3% of all cutaneous melanoma in Caucasians [1], with an estimate in 2010 that 1 of every 39 people in the western countries will be diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma during his or her lifetime [2]. In contrast to melanoma in other sites, it has a worse prognosis , with the 5-year survival rate ranges from 16% to 87% [3,4]. "

    Surgical Science 02/2012; DOI:10.4236/ss.2012.32014
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    • "Although MM comprises less than 5% of malignant skin tumours; however, it is responsible for almost 60% of lethal skin neoplasia. With increased life expectancy of the elderly population, melanoma will be a public health challenge (Riker et al., 2010). Increased incidence of melanoma is partly due to early detection (thin melanomas) and partly due to true increase of incidence. "

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