Researchers following melanoma rates from 1973 to 2009 have found a 2% increase in cases in persons younger than the age of 20. They found that the incidence was 1.6 times higher in girls than in boys and increased with age, with the most rapid increase in 10 to 14 years old. This emphasizes the need for examinations by a dermatologist beginning at a young age to create a map of the patient's body. Alarmingly, the spread of melanomas to lymph nodes or tissues grew at a 5.9% per year. For girls, the most common sites were the legs and hips. For boys, the common sites were face and trunk. The importance of early detection is emphasized by the fact that in the study population, 9.1% of patients 12 to 17 years old and 17.2% of patients 18 to 20 years old died from melanoma.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309