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Study Casts Doubt on Skin Cancer Rise in Younger Americans

National survey finds no significant trend in office visits for non-melanoma skin cancer from 1979-2003

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to results from a recent population-based study in Minnesota, a nationally representative survey suggests that non-melanoma skin cancer is not on the rise in younger Americans. The new report can be found in the December issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Alan B. Fleischer, Jr., M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues used cross-sectional data of outpatient diagnoses for melanoma skin cancer, conducted between 1979 and 2003, to measure the incidence of office visits for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in the same population. A total of 4,100 office visits were recorded.

The investigators found no significant difference in office visits for NMSC in patients under the age of 40 from 1979 to 2003. The mean age of patients visiting the office for NMSC has not changed significantly, either.

A direct measure of tumor incidence was not possible in this study. "A larger population-based study including a number of states in the United States to determine the trend in NMSC providing a more generalizable patient cohort is required."

The study was supported by a grant from Galderma.

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