Study shows rate of dangerous melanoma up 50% in young women since 1980. Not good news at all. The disturbing news is from a Washington Post online report (7/11/08):
An analysis of government cancer statistics from 1973 to 2004 found that the rate of new melanoma cases in younger women had jumped 50 percent since 1980 but did not increase for younger men in that period.
What's concerning is that if melanoma, which has traditionally (and incorrectly) been viewed in the popular mind as only an "older person's disease" is cropping up so early--what does that indicate for the years ahead? Does it signify that melanoma will be on the rise as the population ages? If so, it's not a good prognosis. It's too eary to tell right now, but it's news to take heed of and it reinforces the need to wear sunscreen--even for just incidental exposure like window shopping.
With all the self-tanners available today, it's insane to sun sans protection. It's insane to sun period. And if you're not wearing sunscreen, get some NOW. A good one to try that's gotten mucho recommendations is Anthelios SX by LaRoche-Posay. It's an SPF 15 (I'm a fan of higher SPF's, particularly for longer exposure times) but Anthelios SX contains both Parsol 1789 for longer UVA rays and Mexoryl SX for shorter UVA rays--plus Octocrylene for UVB (and some short-ray) protection. Octocrylene is a chemical sunscreen ingredient that absorbs the damaging rays rather than deflecting it (as a physical blocker would).